“The charge is a no-brainer; I don’t think anyone expected anything less,” Wright family attorney Jeffrey Storms told CNN Thursday morning.
Wright’s relatives “believe that this charge is obviously a good initial step toward trying to get justice, but there ultimately is no such thing as whole justice in this case, because the family can’t have their loved one back,” Storms said.
Wright’s family intends to hold a news conference around noon CT Thursday, its attorneys have said.
Potter shot Wright as he resisted, police said; Potter’s then-chief, Tim Gannon, said earlier this week Wright appeared to mistake her gun for her Taser.
But prosecutors say Potter, 48, is nevertheless responsible and accountable.
Someone convicted of this would face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. CNN has sought comment from Potter’s attorney, Earl Gray.
Potter, who resigned as a Brooklyn Center police officer this week, posted bail and was released from custody Wednesday, online records show.
Protesters gathered for fourth straight night
Protesters gathered in Brooklyn Center on Wednesday night — the fourth straight night of demonstrations.
While the first three nights included sometimes-violent exchanges between protesters and law enforcement officers, tension appeared to have eased by Wednesday night, police officials said.
“About 24 arrests” were made, he said, which was significantly lower than the previous nights. Most of those arrested in Brooklyn Center were not residents of the city, Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said.
And for the second night in a row, no reports of looting or fires set in Brooklyn Center were made, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said.
“My message to all who are demanding justice for (Daunte Wright) and for his family is this: Your voices have been heard, now the eyes of the world are watching Brooklyn Center and I urge you to protest peacefully and without violence,” Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said Wednesday.
What body camera footage and a court document show
According to a criminal complaint filed against Potter, she and an officer who she was training pulled Wright over Sunday in Brooklyn Center.
During the stop, the officers learned Wright had a warrant for his arrest for a gross misdemeanor weapons charge, and Potter’s trainee asked Wright to exit the car, and told him he was under arrest, the complaint reads.
Police body camera footage of the encounter was released Monday, the day after Wright’s death.
The footage shows Wright standing outside his vehicle with his arms behind his back and an officer directly behind him, trying to handcuff him. An officer tells Wright “don’t,” before Wright twists away and gets back into the driver’s seat of the car.
Potter “pulled her Glock 9mm handgun with her right hand and pointed it at Wright,” the office of Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a news release Wednesday.
The officer whose camera footage was released is heard warning the man she’s going to use her Taser on him, before repeatedly shouting, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” It’s at this point, Orput’s office says, that Potter “pulled the trigger on her handgun” and fired one round into Wright’s left side.
“Wright immediately said, “Ah, he shot me,” and the car sped away for a short distance before crashing into another vehicle and stopping,” the news release reads.
Then, the officer is heard screaming, “Holy sh*t! I just shot him.”
An ambulance was called, and Wright was pronounced dead at the scene, Orput’s release reads.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension examined Potter’s duty belt and found her handgun is holstered on the right side of her belt, while the Taser is on the left side, according to Orput’s news release.
The Taser is yellow with a black grip and is set in a straight-draw position, “meaning Potter would have to use her left hand to pull the Taser out of its holster,” reads the release, citing the criminal complaint.
Potter is still entitled to benefits following her resignation, though it is not clear what those benefits are, acting City Manager Reggie Edwards said.
Reacting to the manslaughter charge, another Wright family attorney, Benjamin Crump, released a statement saying, “While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back.”
“This (shooting) was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” Crump’s statement reads.
CNN’s Joe Sutton, Amir Vera, Brad Parks, Carma Hassan, Adrienne Broaddus, Keith Allen, Hollie Silverman, Peter Nickeas, Jessica Schneider, Jessica Jordan, Christina Carrega, Shawn Nottingham and contributed to this report.