Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead the prosecution of a former policewoman charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a young Black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb in April, he said on Friday.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman had asked that Ellison take charge regarding the killing of 20-year-old motorist Daunte Wright, following established protocols in cases involving the use of deadly force by police officers.
“The Potter case is now appropriately in the hands of the attorney general,” Freeman said in a statement.
Ellison announced in a statement that he would lead the prosecution. He also led the prosecution of Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis policeman found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, during a May 2020 arrest. Chauvin is awaiting sentencing.
Chauvin’s trial was underway a few miles away when Wright was shot in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. Kimberly Potter, 48, was captured on body-worn camera videos attempting to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant.
The videos show Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, shouting “Taser!” while pointing her handgun at Wright, who was attempting to get back behind the steering wheel. She then shot Wright in the chest.
The killing prompted a nationwide outcry, with many seeing it as yet another example of unjustified police violence against Black Americans. The issue that has fueled protests and calls for law enforcement reform across the United States.
Potter is scheduled to go on trial on Dec. 6. If convicted, she faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.