The Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally wounded Daunte Wright in a traffic stop on Sunday (April 11) as Kim Potter. She is a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center, Minn., police department, according to a statement from the Minneapolis Department of Public Safety.
Body camera footage from Potter’s web camera was shown yesterday at a news conference. It reportedly shows her pulling her service weapon and firing at Wright, 20, who was pulled over for expired tags. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as an “accidental discharge.”
During the incident, an officer tried to handcuff Wright, who had outstanding warrants, but when he attempted to get back into his car, Potter shouted “taser, taser,” but instead of using the device, she allegedly shot him. Wright drove for several blocks before hitting another vehicle. Officers attempted CPR, but he died at the scene. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled Wright’s death a homicide.
“As I watched the video and listened to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said. “This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Potter has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation from the Minnesota BCA. CBS Minnesota reported that she would be represented by attorney Earl Gray, who will also represent former Minneapolis officer Thomas Lane, who is charged with aiding and abetting the second and third-degree murder of George Floyd last May. He also represented Jeronimo Yanez, St. Anthony, Minn., an officer who was acquitted in the 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered at the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters, demanding the firing of Potter and angry that another Black man was killed at the hands of police by an area officer.
“When I looked at the picture of Daunte Wright, it reminded me of my own son who will be 17 this year and who I am afraid to even let get a driver’s license because of the racial profiling that consistently happens in the state of Minnesota,” said civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, during a demonstration in Brooklyn Center on Monday.
A second night of unrest erupted in the Twin Cities area, as 40 people were arrested throughout the Minneapolis-St.Paul region for conflicts with police, breaking the imposed 7 p.m., curfew and attempted burglaries, according to CBS Minnesota.
More than 1,000 Minnesota National Guard members patrolled the streets until the curfew expired at 6 a.m., Tuesday. Two businesses near the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters were burglarized as well as a few attempts in Minneapolis locations. Authorities described looting as “limited and sporadic.”