Attorney General Keith Ellison
announced on Friday that he will lead the prosecution of the former police
officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright
, 20, in Brooklyn Center in April
“Daunte Wright was a son, a brother, a father, a friend; he was only 20 years old when he died, and he had his entire life ahead of him,” Ellison said of Wright, who was Black, in a news
was described as a "tragedy" by the attorney general, who stated, "He should not have died on the day that he did, and he should not have died the way that he did."
During a traffic stop, Wright was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter
, who police say was attempting to use her stun gun
. Wright's parents have stated that they "cannot accept" that explanation.
Following Wright's death, there were numerous protests demanding justice.
Potter, who resigned days after the shooting
, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and will go on trial
Ellison was the lead prosecutor in the trial of Derek Chauvin
, a former Minneapolis
police officer who killed George Floyd
, a Black father, by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes in May 2020, and was found guilty on all charges last month.
Ellison, who was elected to the position of state attorney general in 2018, has a history as a civil rights
activist, particularly on police accountability issues, and has previously served as a public interest attorney, state lawmaker, and member of Congress
Ellison stated that he accepted the lead prosecution in the Wright case due to a request from the Hennepin County attorney's office and that he "does not accept it lightly."
Despite the success of Chauvin's prosecution, he warned that "no one... should expect this case to be easy to prosecute."
“History shows that this case, like all cases of officer-involved deaths by lethal force, will be difficult,” Ellison said, adding that he hopes “we will break the cycle of history and establish a new standard for justice.”