Minneapolis (AFP) – Prosecutors are seeking approval for a heavier sentence than outlined in state guidelines if a former police officer in a Minneapolis suburb is convicted of shooting Don Wright.
Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center official, faces first- and second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of Wright, who was shot dead while trying to get away from officers during a traffic stop in April. Sentencing controls in first degree premeditated murders range from 6 to 81/2 years in prison.
Potter pleaded not guilty. She is scheduled to appear for trial in December.
The move is similar to that made by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer convicted in the death of George Floyd. In that case, the judge granted Ellison’s request to leave uphill because Floyd was particularly vulnerable and Chauvin abused his power as a police officer.
Ellison wrote in a court document filed on Wednesday that Potter “caused a greater-than-usual danger to the safety of other persons” because she fired into a car with a passenger and two officers were standing near the car.
Potter was recorded on body camera video the moment after the shooting saying she had mistakenly drawn her firearm instead of the stun gun. The potter is white. Wright was black. His death sparked several nights of protests.
Potter’s attorney, Earl Gray, did not respond to a phone message left late Friday.
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