The case against a former Brooklyn Center police officer charged with manslaughter in the killing of Daunte Wright will go to trial in December.
Hennepin County District Judge Regina Chu found there was probable cause to support the charge of second-degree manslaughter against former police officer Kimberly Potter at a virtual court hearing Monday. A trial is scheduled for Dec. 6.
Defense attorney Earl Gray, who represents Potter, did not contest the finding. Potter, wearing black, was seen on screen sitting behind him.
The Washington County Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case and has faced pressure to upgrade the charge against Potter. Assistant Criminal Division Chief Imran Ali said in a statement that the office "remains committed to providing justice and accountability through our legal system for the killing of Daunte Wright."
"In order for the system to work, we must remain committed to justice and provide due process to the defendant as afforded to her by the law," Ali said in the statement. "While we wait for the case and the process to move forward, it is important for everyone to remain focused only on the facts related to details of this tragic case."
Potter faces one charge of second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 death of Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.
Potter, who is white, shot Wright shortly after he was pulled over for driving with expired tabs, according to police. The 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center police department was on the scene as a field training officer.
Tim Gannon, the former Brooklyn Center police chief, said at the time that he believed Potter had intended to use her Taser. Body camera footage shows her shouting "Taser! Taser! Taser!" before firing a single shot.
Potter and Gannon resigned days after Wright's killing, which spurred protests in the north metro city and added fresh urgency to ongoing calls for police reform.
On Saturday, the Brooklyn Center City Council approved a sweeping set of proposals named for Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, a young Black man with autism whom Brooklyn Center police shot and killed in 2019.
Law enforcement officials, including the Law Enforcement Labor Services police union, have said the proposals are misguided and would conflict with state law. The reforms include using unarmed civilians to handle minor traffic stops and mental health calls — changes that in theory could have altered Wright's and Dimock-Heisler's interactions with law enforcement.
"I truly believe if this was implemented prior to April 11, our son would still be with us today," Katie Wright, Daunte's mother, said at Saturday's meeting.
At the hearing Monday, Chu acknowledged that Wright's family was listening in and extended her condolences.
Staff writer Andy Mannix contributed to this report.
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