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Officer charged in Wright killing

Officer charged in Wright killing
The booking photograph of former police officer Kim Potter. (Reuters)

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MINNEAPOLIS –The white suburban police officer who fatally shot a young Black motorist during a traffic stop in Minnesota, igniting several nights of civil unrest, was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday, a day after the officer turned in her badge.

Daunte Wright, 20, was pulled over Sunday in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center for what police said was an expired vehicle registration, then struggled with police and was shot dead by officer Kimberly Potter, 48, who had threatened to stun him with a Taser but fired her handgun instead.

The shooting escalated tensions in a region already on edge over the ongoing trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the use of deadly force last May against George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was suspected of passing a bogus $20 bill.

Potter, a 26-year department veteran, was taken into custody by agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at its office in nearby St. Paul, authorities said.

She was jailed on a charge of second-degree manslaughter but released hours later after posting $100 000 bond, according to jail records. Her first court appearance was set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters massed outside Brooklyn Centre police headquarters for a fourth night on Wednesday, attending a rally that was mostly peaceful as darkness fell, with organisers urging the crowd to remain orderly.

Groups of demonstrators, however, persisted in taunting sheriff’s deputies lined up behind a chain-link fence in front of the building, throwing objects over the barrier. The officers in turn periodically approached the fence to douse those on the other side with pepper spray. (Reuters)