Potter, a 26-year veteran with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, served as its union president. She’s now on administrative leave.
The officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright has been identified as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran with the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Department.
Wright was killed after being pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from his vehicle’s rearview mirror and expired tags.
In the body camera footage shown at a Monday press conference, Potter can be heard shouting “Taser,” three times, then she fired a shot. Immediately afterward, she said, “Holy s***, I just shot him,” as the car drove away.
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said Monday. “This appears to me, from what I’ve viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
The shooting has sparked protests in a part of Minnesota that is still reeling from the killing of George Floyd. It happened only 10 miles from where the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is taking place for his murder.
The Hennepin County medical examiner has deemed Wright’s death a homicide. The young man’s family has hired attorney Ben Crump.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has announced that the city council had given him direct control of police operations. Elliott has said he supports relieving Potter of her duty as an officer.
Reports indicate that Potter is on administrative leave. She was previously the president of the Brooklyn Center Police Union.
Wright’s killing is renewing calls for defunding police.
“Our hearts are aching right now. We are in pain right now,” Elliott contended. He said that the shooting “couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” when the area is bracing for a ruling in the Chauvin trial.
“So, to have a police shooting involved in our community and killing a young man is heartbreaking and unfathomable,” he said. “Let me be clear: We will get to the bottom of this. We will do all that is within our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright.”
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