Constable Kim Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon both resigned two days after 20-year-old Daunte Wright died at Brooklyn Center.
A white Minnesota policeman who shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb and the city’s police chief resigned on Tuesday, measures the mayor said he hoped would help heal the community and lead to reconciliation after two nights of protests and unrest.
Constable Kim Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon both resigned two days after 20-year-old Daunte Wright died at Brooklyn Center. Potter, a 26-year-old veteran, was on administrative leave following Sunday’s shooting, which occurred as the Minneapolis area was already rocked by the trial of the first of four police officers in the death of George Floyd.
Gannon said he believed Potter had mistakenly grabbed her gun while she was looking for her Taser. She can be heard on her body cam video shouting “Taser! Taser! Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said he was “grateful” that Potter had submitted his resignation, but had not asked for it. Elliott said he wasn’t sure it was because she heard she would be fired soon. He said he hoped his resignation “would bring some calm to the community”, but that he would continue to work for “full accountability under the law”. “That’s what we’re going to keep working on,” Elliott said. “We have to make sure that justice is done, that justice is done. Daunte Wright deserves it, her family deserves it. The mayor said the new police leadership was determined to work with community leaders and protesters, who claim Wright has been the victim of racial profiling.
“We hope we are turning a new leaf now,” he said. “I am convinced of it now.” Wright was shot dead as police tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.
“I’ll Tase You!” I’ll Tase You! Taser! Taser! Taser! The officer is heard screaming over his body camera footage released on Monday. She pulls out her gun after the man breaks free from the police in front of his car and gets back behind the wheel.
After firing a single shot from his handgun, the car pulls away and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (curse)!” I shot him. Potter, a 26-year-old veteran, sent a one-paragraph resignation letter.
“I loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow police officers if I resign immediately,” Potter wrote.
Wright’s father Aubrey Wright told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that he rejects the explanation that Potter mistook his gun for his Taser.
“I lost my son. He never comes back. I cannot accept this. A mistake? It doesn’t even seem fair. This officer has been with the force for 26 years. I cannot accept this, ”he said.
Protests erupted for a second night after Sunday’s shooting, heightening anxiety in an already threatened area as the Derek Chauvin trial progresses. Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired the day after Floyd died. Potter was first put on administrative leave during the State Bureau of Criminal Arrest investigation into Wright’s death.
The Minnesota Police and Peacekeepers Association, the police union, issued a statement Tuesday saying “no conclusions should be drawn until the investigation is complete.” Body camera footage Gannon released less than 24 hours after the shooting shows three officers around a stopped car, which authorities say was pulled over because it had expired registration tags. When a policeman tries to handcuff Wright, a second policeman tells him he is being arrested on warrant. This is where the fight begins and Potter shoots Wright.
He died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Potter has experience in investigating police shootings. Potter was one of the first officers to respond after Brooklyn Center police shot dead a man who allegedly tried to stab an officer with a knife in August 2019, according to a report from the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office.
After medics arrived, she told the two officers who shot the man to get into separate cars, turn off their body cameras and not speak to each other. She was also the president of the department’s police union and accompanied two other officers involved in the shooting as investigators questioned them.
Court records show Wright was wanted after failing to appear in court for fleeing police and possessing an unlicensed firearm during a meeting with Minneapolis police in June.
Protesters began to gather soon after the shooting, some jumping on top of police cars.