/ 15 April 2021

Minneapolis braced for more rage

The former police officer who shot 20yo black man Duante Wright during a traffic stop in Minnesota’s Brooklyn Center on Sunday has been arrested and will be charged with second-degree manslaughter. Reports say if found guilty, Kim Potter faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. With the nearby city of Minneapolis on edge as the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin over last year’s killing of George Floyd heads into its final days, local mayor Mike Elliott said it “couldn’t have happened at a worse time. We are collectively devastated.”

A detailed account is here. But in short, former police chief Tim Gannon said officers pulled Wright over to check his expired registration tags. Officers then discovered there was a warrant for his arrest. His mother says she was on the phone with her son as he was pulled over, and he said he was stopped over an air freshener hanging from his mirror. Whatever it was, things went bad fast… Officers tried to detain Wright, but he got back into the car. Officer Kim Potter threatened to use a Taser before shooting him with her gun. Potter is then heard swearing, and said “I just shot him.” Wright drove several blocks before crashing, and he died soon after. The police chief and Potter have both resigned.

Straight into more difficult days and nights, authorities fear… Protesters have now faced off with police for 3 nights running as larger peaceful demonstrations during the day turn into nasty confrontations with smaller crowds at night. Wright’s family gathered with George Floyd’s family members to address the media yesterday, with notable civil right lawyer Ben Crump in tow (note: he now represents both families…) calling for answers and action. Reports say authorities hope that now charges will be laid against Potter, tensions will ease. But the city is braced for a difficult time with the Chauvin trial set to wrap up next week.

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