Defense attorneys ask state to clarify charges in Daunte Wright shooting death

·1 min read

Attorneys for former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter asked in a motion filed Monday that their Aug. 30 deadline for disclosing who they plan to call for expert witness testimony be suspended until the state declares whether it intends to bring additional charges.

Potter, who is white, faces one count of second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop on April 11.

The charge was filed by the Washington County Attorney's office three days after Wright's death. The case was reassigned in May after calls from protesters, the ACLU and others that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison take over.

It's not known if the state will file additional charges, but the defense motion filed Monday said Ellison's office has suggested that more or different charges may be coming. Until the defense knows exactly what charges their client faces, they don't know who to call for expert testimony, argued Paul Engh, Potter's attorney.

"By delaying its decision to amend, the State is, in practical effect, sandbagging the defense (and this Court.)" Engh wrote.

Engh also wrote in the motion that the shooting was accidental, that Potter believed she had a Taser in her hand when she shot Wright.

Wright was attempting to flee the police, Engh wrote, and Potter's mistake was "caused by Mr. Wright's decision to obviate an arrest warrant issued by the Hennepin County District Court."

Potter was arrested in April and then freed after posting a $100,000 bond.

Her trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 30 in Hennepin County District Court.

Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329

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