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Ex-Brooklyn Center police officer to face first-degree manslaughter charge in killing of Daunte Wright

Plus: DFL Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent retiring from Legislature; still no agreement from panel charged with recommending frontline worker “hero bonuses”as deadline nears; Minnesota organizations that help women access abortions are bracing for a spike in demand; and more.

Kimberly A. Potter
Hennepin County Jail
Kimberly A. Potter
At MPR, Matt Sepic reports, “Ex-Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter will face an additional charge of first-degree manslaughter along with the original charge of second-degree manslaughter in the April killing of Daunte Wright, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Thursday. The new charge alleges Potter ‘committed first-degree manslaughter by recklessly handling a firearm’ in shooting Wright, 20, during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb, Ellison’s office said in a statement.”

Also from MPR, Brian Bakst writes, “Minnesota Senate DFL leader Susan Kent will step down from that job and won’t run for another legislative term next year, the second shakeup in two days in the chamber’s top ranks. Kent, a third-term senator from Woodbury, informed her caucus of the decision Thursday night. In a statement, Kent called it a difficult decision and cited the need to be freed up to tend to her mother who is in an assisted-living facility in Dallas.”

The Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson reports, “Minnesota physicians and organizations that help women access abortions are bracing for a spike in demand, days after Texas enacted a law considered the most restrictive abortion ban since Roe v. Wade. The law prohibits abortions as early as six weeks — before many women know they’re pregnant — and is already pushing people in Texas and surrounding states to seek abortions elsewhere. Destinations include Minnesota, where abortion access is constitutionally protected and less restrictive than many states. Meanwhile, in neighboring North Dakota, lawmakers on Thursday signaled that they plan to introduce their own version of the Texas law.”

Tim Pugmire reports for MPR: “A nine-member state panel charged with recommending how to distribute $250 million in bonuses to pandemic front-line workers is nearing its Monday deadline without an agreement. Members of the Frontline Worker Pay Working Group held their last scheduled meeting Thursday, but there are still differing opinions on how many workers should get money and how much they should get.”

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Also in the Star Tribune, Chao Xiong writes: “A judge presiding over the cases against three former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s death did not immediately rule on their request to prohibit livestreaming their joint trials next year. The issue arose during a hearing Thursday that touched on several issues: accusations that the county medical examiner was coerced into changing his findings in Floyd’s death, a failed attempt to subpoena Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to testify about a leak to the media, and a request for police discipline records. The hearing for J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao grew contentious at times and was punctuated by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill admonishing prosecutors for their behavior at co-defendant Derek Chauvin’s trial this year.”

This from Paul Huttner at MPR, “The heaviest rainfall targets western Minnesota with this weather system. A wide swath of 1 to 3 inches is likely by Friday morning. Eastern Minnesota including the Twin Cities likely picks up 0.5 to 1 inch totals. Northeast Minnesota will likely see less rain, with totals less than 0.25 to 0.50 inch in most areas.”

KARE-11’s Diane Sandberg reports: “Mallory Weggemann swam her final race of the Tokyo Paralympic games Friday morning, bringing in her third and final medal from the games. The 50m butterfly S7 was expected to be a strong event for Weggemann, and the Edina native was able to net a silver medal. Canada’s Danielle Doris took gold and set a world record, completing the race in 32.99 seconds. … Weggemann won two gold medals in the women’s 100-meter backstroke S7 and the 200-meter individual medley SM7 while in Tokyo. She also set two new Paralympic world records.  These three new medals will join her previous wins, one gold and one bronze, from the 2012 Paralympic games in London.”

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