A Minnesota prosecutor resigned Monday days after his office announced it would no longer handle the case against the former police officer charged in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Imran Ali, the assistant criminal division chief at the Washington County attorney’s office, wrote in a resignation letter published on the website of the KARE-11 TV station that “vitriol” and “partisan politics” made it difficult to pursue justice. Ali, who has worked in the office for 10 years, will leave in a month.
“The last several weeks have been difficult for me and my family,” Ali wrote. “I pray that our state heals and the extreme partisan platforms dissipate.”
He did not elaborate on his reasoning or mention the Potter case.
Potter, a white, decorated 26-year police veteran, fatally shot Wright, 20, a Black motorist, on April 11. She and the city’s police chief, Tim Gannon, resigned the same day. Gannon called the shooting “accidental” and said he believed Potter meant to use her Taser instead of her handgun.
The shooting occurred a few miles from where George Floyd was killed one year ago and days before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in his death.
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Wright’s death prompted days of angry protests, calls for Potter to be charged with murder and policing changes in the community.
Ali and Washington County Attorney Pete Orput charged Potter with second-degree manslaughter. Last week, Orput gave the case back to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman who asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison take the case.
Ellison agreed to prosecute Potter and said Friday that a review of the evidence and the charge is underway. He did not indicate whether murder charges would be filed.
Hennepin County District Court Judge Regina Chu ruled last week that Potter’s trial could begin as early as Dec. 6, though prosecutors noted that date might need to change.
Contributing: The Associated Press; John Bacon and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY