Days after the shooting on April 11, Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the 20-year-old’s death.
But Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added the additional charge on Thursday, after reviewing the evidence and consulting a use-of-force expert.
Ellison’s office says that Potter committed first-degree manslaughter while also committing the misdemeanor of recklessly handling a firearm when she shot Wright. The original second-degree manslaughter charge says Potter created an unreasonable risk and “consciously took a chance” of causing Wright’s death while using a weapon.
At the time, the Brooklyn Center police chief, who has since resigned, said Potter intended to reach for her Taser, not her gun. Video evidence shows Potter yelling “Taser!” before she shot him.
Police say that Wright had been pulled over for having expired tabs, but officers sought to take him into custody after learning that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
But the fatal shooting of a Black man by a white officer took place miles away from downtown Minneapolis, as the city was still reeling from the murder of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin’s trial was underway. For days, there were protests and arrests in Brooklyn Center as demonstrators clashed with police and push for police reform was again renewed.
Potter’s trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 30. A judge ruled in August that it will not be livestreamed.
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