Police chief, veteran cop Kim Potter who shot and killed Daunte Wright both quit
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.”
A judge ruled that a former South Carolina restaurant manager who forced a Black man with intellectual disabilities to work more than 100 hours a week without pay, owes the former employee more than $500,000. According to The Post and Courier, Bobby Paul Edwards, 56, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for forcing John Christopher Smith, 43, to work at J&J Cafeteria without pay.
A judge on Wednesday denied requests to release body-camera video in the case of a Black man who was shot to death by North Carolina deputies as they tried to arrest him on drug-related warrants. Judge Jeffery Foster said he believed the videos contained information that could harm the investigation or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage. He said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days.
The US justice department has indicted three men on federal hate crime charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was jogging when he was shot and killed in Brunswick on 23 February last year. Arbery’s family characterized his death as a modern-day lynching.
Attorneys for the family of Andrew Brown, a Black man killed by deputies last week, said on Tuesday an independent autopsy showed he was shot five times, including in the back of the head. “It was a kill shot to the back of the head,” one attorney, Ben Crump, told reporters. “It went into the base of the neck, bottom of the skull and got lost in his brain. That was the cause of death.” Another lawyer, Wayne Kendall, said Brent Hall, a former medical examiner in Boone, North Carolina, hired by the Brown family, had examined Andrew Brown’s body.