NewsAmerica in Crisis


Officer who shot Daunte Wright resigns

Brooklyn Center police chief also resigns
Police Shooting Minnesota Daunte Wright protests
Posted at 5:15 AM, Apr 13, 2021

The police officer who shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright tendered her resignation on Tuesday, the mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota said on Tuesday.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot said Officer Kim Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon both resigned on Tuesday morning.

Wright died on Sunday during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota — a town located just outside the city limits of Minneapolis. In releasing body camera footage on Monday, Gannon said that he believed that Potter meant to fire her stun gun, but instead mistakenly grabbed her firearm.

Potter was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation following the shooting. She was a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

"I am tendering my resignation from the Brooklyn Center Police Department effective immediately. 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 in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow officers if I resign immediately," Potter's resignation statement read, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

In addition to the police resignations, the Elliot confirmed Tuesday that the Brooklyn Center city council had voted to relieve City Manager Curt Boganey of his duties.

Elliot added that Brooklyn Center Police Commander Tony Gruenig would serve as the city's acting chief of police.

The resignations came after a second straight night of unrest in the city.

KMSP-TV and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis report that hundreds of people gathered in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday evening to protest, despite a 7 p.m. local time curfew. Police ordered the dispersal of the crowd at 7:30 p.m., but many remained in place. WCCO says additional dispersal orders were given at 8 p.m. and 8:20 p.m.

KMSP reports that protesters at one point attempted to breach a barrier that was surrounding the police station.

Eventually, police used tear gas and flash bangs to disperse the crowds. WCCO reports that some in the crowd responded to those measures by shooting fireworks toward the police.

Local outlets say police advanced on protests around 9 p.m. and began firing rubber bullets, and that the crowd outside the police station had mostly dispersed by 10:30 p.m. local time.

WCCO reports that some businesses in the area, including a Dollar Tree store and a Speedway gas station, were either vandalized or looted on Monday evening.

Monday marked the second straight night of unrest in the area. On Sunday evening, a T-Mobile store and a menswear store about two miles away from the police station were among the businesses hit by vandals and looters. Gannon said that two people had been arrested following Sunday’s riots.

The unrest sparked by Wright’s shooting takes place as the trial of Derek Chauvin is ongoing just miles away at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter in connection with the death of George Floyd.

Floyd’s death and bystander video of the incident that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck sparked widespread unrest in Minneapolis and across the country early last summer.

Prior to Monday's proceedings, Chauvin's defense team requested that jurors be sequestered for the remainder of the trial due to the community response to Wright's death. Judge Peter Cahill denied that request.

Currently, jurors are only partially sequestered — they can return home, but have been told to avoid reading or watching coverage of the case. The jury will be fully sequestered once deliberations begin.

In preparation for Chauvin’s trial earlier this year, lawmakers approved millions of dollars in funding for increased security in the city, including help from the National Guard, in the event tensions boiled over.