Washington County to decide charges against officer who killed Daunte Wright

Hennepin County Mike Freeman sent the case to Washington County per a new practice among metro area county attorneys.
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The Washington County Attorney's Office will handle the charging decision in connection to the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center on Sunday, April 11. 

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in a statement Monday said five metro-area counties adopted a new practice last year for police use of force cases to avoid the appearance of mishandling of a case. 

The new practice has the county attorney in the jurisdiction where the incident happened refer the case to one of the other county attorneys or the state attorney general.

In line with this, Freeman has sent the case to Washington County Attorney Pete Orput. Orput's office will make any further decisions on the case, including whether Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter will be charged, following the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's investigation. 

Potter, a 26-year veteran, has been identified as the officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon. 

Brooklyn Center PD Chief Tim Gannon suggested Monday that Potter unintentionally shot Wright when she grabbed her gun instead of her Taser, with Gannon speculating that it was an "accidental discharge." 

Wright was pulled over for what police say was an expired license tabs violation. During the traffic stop, officers learned of an outstanding warrant for Wright, who got back into his car as an officer attempted to arrest him. The struggle lasted only seconds before ending when Potter fired her gun. Wright was able to drive a few blocks before crashing near 63rd Avenue North and Kathrene Drive.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest at 2:17 p.m., declaring his death a homicide.  

The Brooklyn Center City Council has recommended the firing of Potter and police chief Gannon, with a decision expected as early as Tuesday. Mayor Mike Elliott fired City Manager Curt Boganey Monday evening after Boganey said earlier in the day Potter was entitled to due process. Elliott had said Potter should be fired.

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