A former police officer who shot and killed a young farmer in the Minneapolis suburb will be charged with second-degree genocide on Wednesday, a prosecutor said.
Pete Orput, a top lawyer in neighboring Washington County, said the lawsuit would be filed in Henepin County against Kim Potter, who is handling the case.
Earl Gray, a lawyer representing Potter, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Potter Resigned From the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday after Downt Wright was killed two years ago during a traffic stop. The head of the department, Tim Gannon, has also resigned. He described the shooter as an “accidental discharge” of Potter’s firearms when he spoke of using a teaser instead.
Henepin County Medical Examiner handed down a homicide verdict on Wright’s death Monday. In the context of treatment, the term means “death at the hands of others” but it does not constitute a legal offense.
The second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison under Minnesota law. The law states that a person commits a crime only when he or she “creates an unreasonable risk and is consciously likely to cause death or bodily harm to another.”
Wright’s murder took place where Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was just a few miles away. Tried Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd, whose death last year sparked protests around the world for racial trials.
Wright’s death ignited More protests. Brooklyn Center police and protesters outside the police department has been facing for three nights.
Police officers rarely face criminal charges when they are accused of corruption. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Monday he was sending the case to Washington County, about 40 miles away, to avoid a conflict of interest over the decision on whether to file a criminal complaint against Potter.
Prosecutors in Minnesota’s five largest cities adopted the practice of referring police abuse cases to each other a year ago.
Prosecutors rely on police officers to gather evidence in criminal cases. This relationship makes them dependent on the police and makes officers reluctant to charge, writes Brown University sociologist Nicole Gonzalez van Cleve Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court.