MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A suburban Minneapolis police officer who said she confused her handgun for a Taser was led away in handcuffs Thursday after a jury found her guilty of manslaughter in the death of Black motorist Daunte Wright.

The mostly white jury deliberated for about 27 hours over four days before finding former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. Potter, 49, who is white, faces about seven years in prison under the state’s sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors said they would seek a longer term.

It has been rare to charge police with crimes in civilian deaths, and rarer still for them to be convicted. Here’s a look at other high-profile killings by police and the outcome of the cases:


Eric Garner, 43, died in July 2014 in New York City after a white officer placed him in a chokehold when Garner, who was Black, refused to be handcuffed for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in December of that year. The Justice Department said in 2019 that it wouldn’t file civil rights charges after a yearslong investigation.


Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a white officer, Darren Wilson, in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, touching off weeks of sometimes violent protests. A St. Louis County grand jury declined later that year to indict Wilson in the unarmed Black teen’s death, and the U.S. Department of Justice later also declined to charge him. Wesley Bell, the current St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, conducted a five-month review of witness statements, forensic reports and other evidence and announced in July that he would not charge Wilson.


Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot 16 times at Laquan McDonald, killing the Black 17-year-old as he walked away from officers in October 2014. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder the same day the city released the shocking dashcam video of the shooting. Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2018 and sentenced to nearly seven years in prison.


Tamir Rice, 12, was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer in November 2014 after officers responded to a 911 call from a man drinking beer and waiting for a bus who said a “guy” was pointing a gun at people. Tamir, who was Black, had a pellet gun tucked in his waistband and was shot after the officers’ cruiser skidded to a stop just feet away. A grand jury in December 2015 declined to indict patrolman Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shot, and training officer Frank Garmback. The U.S. Justice Department announced last year that it would not bring federal criminal charges, saying the quality of video of the shooting was too poor for prosecutors to establish what had happened.


Michael Slager, a white South Carolina police officer, shot Walter Scott in the back as the unarmed 50-year-old Black man fled following a 2015 traffic stop. In 2016, a mistrial was declared after the jury deadlocked over a verdict in Slager’s murder trial. The next year, Slager pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights and prosecutors dropped state murder charges. Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison.


Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man, died in 2015 after he suffered a spinal injury while handcuffed and shackled in a Baltimore police van, sparking weeks of unrest across the city. Six officers were charged in Gray’s death and arrest. Three were acquitted and Baltimore’s state attorney dropped the other cases. The U.S. Department of Justice announced in 2017 that it wouldn’t bring federal charges against the six officers involved in the arrest, saying it did not find enough evidence to prove the officers willfully violated Gray’s civil rights.


Philando Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, was shot five times by a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer during a 2016 traffic stop after Castile informed the officer he was armed. The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook. Officer Jeronimo Yanez testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter.


Justine Ruszczyk Damond, an unarmed white dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, was fatally shot in 2017 by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor when she approached his squad car in the alley behind her home minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape. Noor testified at trial that a loud bang on the squad car startled him and his partner and that he fired to protect his partner’s life. He was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced in 2019 to 12 1/2 years in prison. The murder conviction was later overturned and Noor was resentenced on the manslaughter count to nearly five years in prison.


Roy Oliver, a white Texas police officer, fired at a car full of teenagers as it drove away from a large house party in April 2017, fatally shooting 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. Police initially said the vehicle backed up toward officers “in an aggressive manner,” but later admitted that bodycam video showed the vehicle was moving forward as officers approached. Oliver was convicted of murder in the Black teen’s death in 2018 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.


Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died March 3, 2020 after he pleaded for breath under an officer’s knee in Tacoma, Washington. Ellis was Tasered, handcuffed and hogtied, with his face covered by a spit hood. A medical examiner said he died from lack of oxygen caused by restraint, with an enlarged heart and methamphetamine intoxication as contributing factors. Tacoma police officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder after witnesses reported they started beating Ellis without provocation. The officers say he attacked them. A third officer, Timothy Rankine, is charged with first-degree manslaughter for allegedly kneeling on Ellis’ back and shoulder as he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Rankine has pleaded not guilty.


Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical worker studying to become a nurse, was shot several times in her hallway after three plainclothes narcotics detectives busted down the door of her apartment in the middle of the night in March 2020. A grand jury brought no charges against officers in her death, although one was indicted for shooting into a neighboring home that had people inside. Prosecutors said two officers who fired at Taylor, who was Black, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend.


The dying gasps of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer led to the biggest outcry against racial injustice in the U.S. in generations. White former Officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison after he was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for up to 9 1/2 minutes as the 46-year-old man gasped that he couldn’t breathe and went limp on May 25, 2020.


Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, fell asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta in June 2020. Police body camera video showed him struggling with two white officers who told him he’d had too much to drink to drive and tried to arrest him. Brooks grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and fled, firing it at Officer Garrett Rolfe as he ran. Rolfe fired his gun, hitting Brooks twice in the back. Rolfe is charged with murder and was fired after the shooting, though that dismissal was reversed on the grounds the city hadn’t followed its procedures. The other officer, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. Lawyers for both officers have said their clients acted appropriately.


The Ohio sheriff’s deputy who shot Casey Goodson Jr. in the back five times pleaded not guilty to murder and reckless homicide charges in the Dec. 4, 2020 killing. Attorneys for defendant Jason Meade argue that, as a member of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force, Meade was acting as a federal agent at the time of the shooting. The shooting of the 23-year-old Goodson, who was Black, by Meade, a longtime deputy — now retired — who is white, led to protests in Columbus and many lingering questions, in part because the killing was not recorded on body or dash camera footage.


Hill, a 47-year-old Black man, was visiting a family friend when he was fatally shot by a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio, in December as he emerged from a garage holding a cellphone. Officer Adam Coy was fired and has pleaded not guilty to murder and reckless homicide charges. The police chief was forced out and the city agreed to pay a $10 million settlement to Hill’s family.


Find the AP’s full coverage of the Daunte Wright case: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright

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  1. Looking back is Easier than Plotting a Crouse Forward

    By John Burl Smith author of “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop”

    Vice President Kamala Harris in a new interview, by Mychael Schnell for The Hill said her biggest failure is “Not getting out of DC more!” Most voters may not remember VP Harris’ first attempt to reach out to voters using a town hall talk with voters in West Virginia. I will remind readers that no sooner than the last words were exchanged, Joe Manchin unleashed a furious verbal assault at the Vice President for “not getting his permission to talk with his people,” (expletives deleted). Manchin’s attack on VP Harris’ remains the untold story behind her seldom exit from the safety of Washington D. C. But the amazing thing is the American media has amnesia and makes no mention of the incident. Similarly, VP Harris was attacked from all corners of the media, after her first trip to the border, as she attempted to get a firsthand view of the situation. Those in the media, from their response, wrote and spoke, as though she was supposed to come up with a solution at her first glance. Whereas, on the other hand, the media ranted and raved over Donald Trump’s disastrous “4 years,” during which the problem continually deteriorated.

    Concluding “The 400th From Slavery to Hip Hop,” I discussed the end of the 2020 election and Pres. Joe Biden’s surprising thrashing of Donald trump and the unthinkable insurrection on 1-6-2020 that followed. Trump’s attempted “coup” created a threatening atmosphere for Democrat office holders across the nation. Democrats, particularly women, have been verbally and symbolically attacked in person and on social media to cheers from the Republican base, while being treated like “whiners” by the media. I have always been taught to hold women in high regard, but today whether pole workers, legislators or the Vice President of the United States, women are under assault from the streets to the Supreme Court. These lessons of disrespect are being taught to our children and intolerance is being made to seem patriotic. The single great lesson America’s children are now being taught by government leaders and officials is enmity toward women, who are now targets on all levels of society.

    Despite the hazards and possibilities of danger, VP Harris is considering kicking off a new outreach initiative to young American voters, which she hopes will reverse some of the bitterness growing in American society. She is considering launching an initiative to get young voters to pledge to show up at the polls and vote November 1st. This is a very important undertaking from her perspective because she considers the effort to “get young voters involved in saving American democracy, worth risking such possible hazards extremist may try. First time voters are the backbone of America’s representative democracy and America’s young people desperately need to rise up and stand for equality, freedom and justice. The November 1-2022 election can shape 11th and 12th graders views on voting and democracy going forward. VP Harris is committed to stand with young voters and she needs them to stand by her.

    This pledge will serve as a compact between young voters and Vice President Harris. It will be a sign they are committed to preserving the Constitution and doing away or striking down those that limit equality, freedom and justice for any American. Helping young voters comprehend “how crucial they are to the survival of democracy in America is why VP Harris is all in for young voters. Looking back at the possible fate democracy in America would have suffered had not the brave Capitol defenders “not held the line,” the words I currently speak would be falling on deaf ears.

    One of the major goals of VP Harris’ initiative under consideration is reaching out to the many young voters across every state and territory of the U.S. to gain their pledge to “show up at the polls and vote November 1st vote parties with young voters.” Her hope is to gain their pledge to not only “show up and vote” but also convince their friends, parents and grandparents to come with them to the polls in a show of family love for democracy. The VP’s initiative also hopes to reach millions of 18 to 25 voters, who have lost faith completely in the electoral system and officials, who seem to be only interested in raising money, getting rich and serving their partisan interest. These voters believe that these elected officials were part of planning and carrying out the insurrection and overthrowing American democracy. According to all recent polls, and Americans swear by polls, young voters see little to no hope in politics today.

    Think of this, older adults are attacking school boards demanding the right to determine what voters, “11th and 12th graders, are taught and “allowed” to learn in school, without students having any say on the matter! Think about this; people with much less education and current knowledge than students are presently, fighting to pass laws limiting students’ access to knowledge they do not know and never learned, because their father wanted to keep them ignorant. These mobs are forcing their ignorance off on young voters through school. Taking VP Harris’ pledge is to give America’s students’ knowledge they need to compete in a global world. Vice President Harris’ gatherings will be “Pledge Rallies for Democracy” to make sure 11th and 12th graders know the rights the 26th Amendment gave them as American citizens, not as someone’s child. Primarily, she will reach out to 11th and 12th graders to give them a positive reflection of their first encounter with America’s electoral system. Their first vote can set their pattern of participation throughout their lives; at least that is Vice President Harris’ hope.

    Many of these young voters have walked away because today’s politicians are too busy “looking back at their grandparents’ days and times, with total disregard for life today. This view leaves young voters with only their grandfather’s past, as their future. No one is asking young voters what they think and want. Some older politicians will go as far as to say, “Young people can’t think!” These older voters still believe “young people should be seen and not heard.” However, today’s news is that the 26th Amendment gave young people equal standing to pick America’s leaders with their votes. The 26th Amendment was made the law of the land on 7-1-1971. It says, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.” This fact is at the heart of Republicans’ “big lie” and voter suppression laws.” Voter suppression’s aim is to keep young voters silent and out of politics. Joe Manchin symbolizes the autocratic power white politicians are trying to preserve, by denying young voters a voice in how America is governed and by whom. Ending that kind of autocracy is the aim of VP Harris’ initiative. Rejecting “Build Back Better” is to stop the progress and ways Pres. Biden plans to make young voters equal partners in democracy in America. Consequently, VP Harris needs every young voter to join the fight to save American democracy, by taking the pledge to show up on November 1st and vote!!!

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