Officer, police chief resign after Daunte Wright shooting

April 13 (UPI) -- The Brooklyn Center, Minn., police chief and the officer who fatally shot a 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop resigned Tuesday.

Officer Kimberly Potter submitted her resignation letter to the Law Enforcement Labor Services, a public safety labor union.


"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," she wrote.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said the city didn't ask Potter, a 26-year veteran, to resign.

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Police Chief Tim Gannon also issued his resignation in the wake of Sunday's shooting, which resulted in two days of protests.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement late Monday that Potter discharged her firearm Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop that resulted in the death of Daunte Wright. She was placed on administration leave before her resignation.


Earlier Monday, authorities released a brief video clip of the incident from her body-worn camera.

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During the news conference, Gannon said Potter accidentally shot Wright with her firearm and believed that she "had the intention" to deploy her Taser.

The officers pulled Wright over Sunday afternoon and discovered he was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant.

In the footage released Monday, Wright appears to struggle with the arresting officer. Potter is then heard repeatedly saying "Taser" before discharging her weapon, firing a single bullet.

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She then curses.

"I shot him," she is heard yelling.

Late Monday, protesters and police clashed in the Minneapolis suburb for a second night. Gov. Tim Walz declared a curfew for the four counties of Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota and Anoka from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Tensions in the Minneapolis area were already high due to the ongoing murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd. His Memorial Day death sparked protests worldwide.

Authorities Monday night fired tear gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades at the several hundred protesters in Brooklyn Center who failed to heed warnings to disperse after curfew, the Star Tribune reported.


Col. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol told reporters during a 12:30 a.m. Tuesday news conference that officers from several agencies focused on protecting the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters, where protesters gathered.

He said police arrested some 40 people on charges ranging from curfew violation to rioting, after the officers protecting the facility "were shelled pretty significantly with objects" thrown by protesters.

A few officers received minor injuries from being hit with projectiles, he said, adding he was unaware of any protesters having sustained injuries.

Minnesota Operation Safety Net, the task force created to ensure public safety amid expected protests due to the Chauvin trial, earlier tweeted crowds at the police station were throwing bottles, bricks and other objects, as well as lighting fireworks and shinning lasers into the officers' eyes.

Authorities also observed looting around the Brooklyn Center, he said, with Minneapolis Police Department Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman adding that five businesses were burgled during protests in Minneapolis.

She said police arrested 13 people, including six for curfew violations, four for looting, two in connection to shots fired and one person on an outstanding warrant.

The NAACP on Monday condemned Wright's death, stating it occurred near where Floyd was killed.


"Both were fathers, both were Black men, both died at the hands of police," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. "Whether it be carelessness and negligence or a blatant modern-day lynching, the result is the same. Another Black man has died at the hands of police."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday the Biden administration was "incredibly saddened" by the shooting.

President Joe Biden later described the shooting as "tragic" but called on the public to stay calm.

"We do know that the anger, pain and trauma that exists in the Black community, in that environment, is real, it's serious and it's consequential," he said. "But it will not justify violence and/or looting."

Protesters demand justice in police killing of George Floyd

Demonstrators hold a sign in Los Angeles on June 14 for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot by police in her home while she was sleeping. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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