Minn. Officer Who Killed Daunte Wright Identified as Kim Potter, 25-Year-Veteran of Department
Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement from the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The investigation is ongoing.
According to the Star Tribune, Potter, 48, has been on the force since 1995. Over the years, she has served on the department's negotiation team.
Potter shot Wright just before 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Officer-worn body camera footage of Sunday's stop showed that Wright was pulled over and approached by two officers for expired car tags. When they ran Wright's driver's license, they allegedly found an outstanding warrant. As officers began to handcuff Wright, he wrestled free. He then jumped back into his car and appeared to try to drive off.
The footage shows Potter threatening to use her taser, and shouting "taser" several times before discharging her gun. As soon as she shoots him, she can be heard uttering "oh, sh--" as Wright sped off.
The vehicle then traveled several blocks before crashing into another car. Wright died at the scene, police said. His girlfriend, who was in the passenger's seat, suffered minor injuries.
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After the shooting, Potter's boss claimed the shooting was accidental.
"It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy her taser," Chief Tim Gannon of Brooklyn Center, Minn., said at a Monday news conference. "It appears to me that this was an accidental discharge."
The shooting has prompted two nights of protests and clashes with police in the suburb of Minneapolis, a city already on edge as testimony continues in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, for murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, another Black man, while in police custody.
As news of the shooting went national, the Minnesota Twins, Wild and Timberwolves announced they would postpone their games out of respect for Wright. New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks opted to sit out Monday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays as a form of protest.
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Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called for Potter to be fired.
"Let me be very clear," Elliott said at Monday's news conference. "My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession, and so I do fully support relieving the officer of her duties."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement that he is "praying for Daunte Wright's family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement."
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