Wright’s killing renews focus on police traffic stops in Minnesota

Air fresheners hang from a fence.
Air fresheners hang from a fence during a protest outside of the police station on Thursday in Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Stephen Maturen | Getty Images

Former police officer Kim Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, when Wright was pulled over on Sunday in Brooklyn Center for a minor traffic violation.

Since Wright’s death, Democrats in the Minnesota legislature have been advancing proposals to cut back on police powers to stop drivers for things like air fresheners hanging in the window, or expired tabs.

Proponents of the change say these encounters aren't necessary components of police work and are inherently dangerous, especially for people of color.

For a law enforcement perspective on this, MPR News host Cathy Wurzer talked with Chief Kelly McCarthy. She leads the Mendota Heights Police Department and is chair of the Minnesota POST board, the state agency that oversees licensing and standards for police officers.

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