Kimberly Potter posted $100K bail after being charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter for shooting dead Daunte Wright on Sunday
Potter, 48, was released from the Hennepin County jail at 5.38pm – just hours after she was arrested around 11.30am on Wednesday
Earlier, the former Brooklyn Center officer was charged with second-degree manslaughter for killing Wright, a 20-year-old black man
If convicted, Potter faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine
Her first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday in downtown Minneapolis
The former Minnesota police officer charged with shooting Daunte Wright has been released from jail on a $100,000 bond while protests erupted for the fourth day over his death.
Kimberly Potter, 48, was released from the Hennepin County jail at 5.38pm – just hours after she was arrested around 11.30am on Wednesday by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents in St. Paul.
Earlier Wednesday, the former Brooklyn Center officer was charged with second-degree manslaughter for killing Wright, a 20-year-old black man, in the Minneapolis suburb on Sunday.
Her first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday in downtown Minneapolis.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represents Wright’s family, told CNN in an interview that Potter has a right to a reasonable bond and is presumed innocent until she has been convicted.
Under Minnesota law, a second-degree manslaughter charge is filed when a person is accused of causing another person’s death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk, and of consciously taking the chance of causing severe injury or death.
If convicted, Potter faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. However, sentencing guidelines for someone without a criminal record call for no more than four years behind bars.
Potter shot and killed Wright Sunday during a traffic stop just 10 miles from the courthouse where another white cop Derek Chauvin is currently being tried for the murder of black man George Floyd.
The veteran officer, who has worked for the department for 26 years, allegedly confused her gun for a Taser. She resigned from the force Tuesday as protests erupted in the city demanding justice for Wright.
The protests continued into their fourth day on Wednesday with Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, joining Crump and Reverend Al Sharpton during a press conference to comment on the George Floyd and Daunte Wright cases on Wednesday.
Garner died in New York City in 2014 after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo used a prohibited chokehold while arresting him, sparking Black Lives Matter protests.
Demonstrators massed up at the Brooklyn Center police station, Minnesota on Wednesday as National Guard soldiers stood ready to counter flareups
Businesses in downtown Minneapolis were being boarded up and fenced in while National Guard troops deployed ahead of the outcome of the Dereck Chauvin trial were seen patroling downtown.
On the fourth day of protests in the suburban Minneapolis city following the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, some of the demonstrators held up signs demanding the end to police killings as they gathered near the Brooklyn Center police station.
Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief and director of the Major Crime Unit, said in a statement announcing the charges that the state will ‘vigorously prosecute this case’ against Porter a 26-year veteran of the police department.
‘Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer,’ said Ali.
‘With that responsibility comes a great deal of discretion and accountability. We will vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her Taser.
‘Her action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable.’
Ali and County Attorney Peter Orput had met with Wright’s family prior to announcing the charges, assuring them ‘we would spare no resources in seeking justice for Mr. Wright,’ said Ali.
New details about the fatal shooting were also released by the attorney’s office Wednesday.
Potter had been training a rookie cop, named in the criminal complaint as Brooklyn Center Police Officer Anthony Luckey, on Sunday when she shot Wright dead.
So far the official police version is that the veteran cop ‘accidentally drew handgun instead of Taser’ Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon on Monday as he described the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as ‘an accidental discharge’.
Wright was shot dead on Sunday afternoon after he and his girlfriend were pulled over during a traffic stop for what his mother said was air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota.
Gannon revealed during a tense press conference that he believed the senior female officer who shot Wright accidentally drew her handgun instead of a taser.
Both Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon submitted their resignations on Tuesday.
Gannon had released police body cam footage of the incident that showed three officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop.
According to the criminal complaint, Luckey and Potter pulled Wright over while he was driving his white Buick at 63rd and Orchard Avenues North in Brooklyn Center at 1.53pm Sunday.
Police previously said Wright, who has a toddler son, was first pulled over for expired license plate tags when he was driving with his girlfriend.
officer Luckey ran Wright’s identification and found he had a warrant out for his arrest for a gross misdemeanor weapons charge, the complaint states.
Four minutes later at 2:01:31, Luckey and Potter approached the driver’s side of the car and asked Wright to get out and place his hands behind his back, according to the report.
Wright did as the officers asked and Luckey told him he was being arrested for his outstanding warrant.
Both Wright and Luckey stood just outside of the open driver’s side door, while Potter stood behind and to the right of the other officer, the report says.
Seconds later at 2:01:49, Wright reportedly pulled away from the officers and got back into the car, with Luckey trying to maintain physical control of him, according to the complaint.
At 2:01:55, Potter then said she would us the Taser on Wright.
Instead, she pulled her Glock 9mm handgun with her right hand and pointed it at Wright, repeating that she would use the Taser on him.
Potter shouted ‘Taser, Taser, Taser,’ as she pulled the trigger on her handgun at 2:02:01, firing one round into the left side of the victim, the complaint states.
Wright immediately said ‘ah, he shot me,’ and drove away in his car before crashing and coming to a stop.
Meanwhile, Potter said ‘S**t, I just shot him!’ after firing her gun.
The entire incident from the traffic stop to the shooting took place within nine minutes and Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wright, who Gannon said didn’t appear to be armed, managed to drive several blocks before coming to a stop when he hit another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Potter left her home in Minneapolis on Monday with her 54-year-old husband Jeffrey and their sons Sam and Nick after her address was posted on social media. Police guarded the property Tuesday night and fencing was erected around it.
It was not immediately clear if Potter would be returning to the home after posting her bail.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office on Monday ruled Wright’s death a homicide, noting that he ‘died of a gunshot wound of the chest.’
Potter is at least the third U.S. law enforcement officer to face charges after claiming they mistakenly killed someone with a gun when they meant to use a Taser, Reuters reported.