Kim Potter

Police chief, veteran cop Kim Potter who shot and killed Daunte Wright both quit

A 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department was identified as the shooter

Officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was identified as the person who fired a bullet into 20-year-old Daunte Wright’s chest

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INVESTIGATIVE PRESS GROUP

The Brooklyn Center police chief and the white cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday after apparently mistaking her handgun for a Taser have both resigned. “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately,” Potter said in a letter announcing her resignation to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot and other city officials. At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Elliot also announced that Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon has resigned from the department.

Authorities say Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, in the chest after pulling him over for expired car tabs.

After officers ran his name, they found an outstanding gross misdemeanor warrant and tried to take him into custody, police said. Body-cam footage of the encounter shows one officer yanking Wright from his car to handcuff him, but he then tries to go back inside—spurring a chaotic struggle that ends with Potter pulling out a gun and firing a single shot.

Potter can be heard yelling “Taser Taser!” before realizing she in fact used her firearm. “Holy shit, I shot him,” she is heard saying in the footage.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said his office is performing a “thorough yet expedited” review of the case. If criminal charges are warranted, his office said, they will be drafted on Tuesday or Wednesday.

In 2019, Potter — who was the police union president at the time — was admonished by investigators for allegedly attempting to conceal evidence after a police shooting that left a 21-year-old autistic man dead.

“Officer Potter instructed Officers Turner and Akers to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other,” states a report issued by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. No charges were filed in that case.

The “accidental discharge” that led to Wright’s death also set off an immediate string of violent protests in Minneapolis amid tensions over the ongoing Derek Chauvin murder trial.

For two nights, hundreds of residents took to the streets and clashed with police, who responded with tear gas and flashbangs that were reminiscent of last summer’s protests after George Floyd’s police death.

“It is unbelievable...that police would shoot and kill another unarmed Black man...during this pinnacle trial of Derek Chauvin,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Wright family, said in a Tuesday press conference alongside George Floyd’s family and other local leaders.

Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer on Tuesday said that 40 people were arrested overnight in connection with the Brooklyn Center protests while several law enforcement officers suffered minor injures. Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Monday said that the National Guard would remain “robust” in the city over the next “two or three days.”

Wright’s killing has already shaken up the city’s local government. After Mayor Elliott said he believed Potter should be fired—echoing a demand made by local activists—Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey said the officer would be afforded “due process.” Elliott later announced that Boganey had been “relieved of his duties” and that Deputy City Manager Reggie Edwards would be taking over.

“All of the world is watching our community. We continue to be distressed as we go through the Derek Chauvin trial,” Elliott said. “We will get to the bottom of this.”

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