A former suburban Minneapolis police officer accused of fatally shooting black man Daunte Wright after apparently mistaking a gun for a Taser appeared in court to learn her trial will move forward.
Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu ruled on Monday that there was probable cause to support charges against former Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter. Potter, 48, showed up for the virtual omnibus hearing wearing a black shirt in her defense attorney’s office. Potter did not speak besides indicating she consented to her hearing occurring virtually.
Potter, who is white and served on the force for 26 years, is charged with second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death at a traffic stop last month. Her trial date has been scheduled for December 6.
It was Potter’s first court appearance since April 15, which is the day after she was charged in the killing that occurred 10 miles from where black man George Floyd was arrested and died under the knee of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.
Potter was recorded on body cameras shouting ‘Taser!’ several times before firing a handgun at Wright, 20, who attempted to flee officers on April 11. Wright was pulled over in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, for expired tags and had an outstanding warrant. The Brooklyn Center police chief said he believed Potter intended to use a Taser instead of a handgun, before he and Potter both resigned.
The omnibus hearing on Monday afternoon was a pretrial hearing to review evidence and decide if there is probable cause to proceed.
Chu began the hearing with condolences to the Wright family, who also attended virtually. Special Assistant Hennepin County Prosecutor Imran Ali pointed to witness selection and discovery the state must still sort as reasons of concern over the trial start date. However, Chu stated she intended to stay with the December date.
‘I think it’s to the benefit of everyone to try and expedite this case and try to come to a resolution or trial as quickly as reasonably possible,’ the judge said.
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