Traffic Stop Tragedy in Minnesota

Randi Reichert, Staff Writer

Daunte Wright was a 20 year old African American male. He was the father of a one year old son. Wright had some history of a criminal record. He had an outstanding arrest warrant that was related to an armed robbery. On Sunday, April 11th, Wright was stopped by a Brooklyn Center police officer just before 2pm. One of the officers was identified as Kim Potter. He was pulled over for expired registration. During this traffic stop, Kim had learned Wright had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Police tried taking Wright into custody. He refused and re-entered his car. The body cam shows Potter taking out her handgun and shooting. Wright died from the gunshot wound to his chest.

The Brooklyn Police Chief claims Potter intended to reach for her taser and mistakenly grabbed her handgun. As a result of this tragedy, Potter resigned from her position after 26 years as a veteran. In her resignation letter she wrote, “It is in the best interest of the community, the department, and fellow officers if I resign immediately.” Potter was arrested Wednesday and charged with manslaughter. Potter’s bail was set at $100,000. She posted bond and was released Wednesday night. If found guilty after an investigation, Potter would face 48 months in prison. Wright’s family lawyer suggested a more serious charge. 

I believe this may not have been a mistake. While this occurrence may happen more often than it should, it is wrong. I agree Potter should face a more serious charge than only 4 years. Maybe people training to be in the force need to be in training longer as these mistakes should not be made. To my knowledge, a taser and handgun are carried on opposite sides and are very distinct from each other. If police are making these mistakes that end up a tragedy, maybe they are not as qualified as they should be for their job. If Potter had not resigned, she should have been removed from her position in the force.