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Authorities Identify Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Daunte Wright


Warning: the video is disturbing.

The police officer who fatally shot unarmed Black man Daunte Demetrius Wright, 20, during a traffic stop on Sunday is 48-year-old Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, said the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension late Monday.

As seen on Potter’s body cam video, officers had pulled over Wright for a traffic stop. They mentioned him facing a warrant. (The 20-year-old had allegedly missed a court appearance on a gross misdemeanor for carrying a pistol without a permit, and a misdemeanor for running from police. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the traffic stop on Sunday was over expired tags. Wright’s family has said it was over having an air freshener on the rearview mirror of his mother’s car.)

An officer went to handcuff him during the Sunday incident. Wright stood there, but a male officer accused him of resisting. Wright denied doing anything.

“Don’t resist now, bro,” said the male officer.

Wright lunged towards the open door of his sedan.

Potter said she would use a Taser. She pulled out her gun.

“Taser! Taser! Taser!” she yelled, and then shot Wright in his midsection.

“Holy shit!” she yelled as Wright drove away. “I just shot him.”

Gannon construed this all as an accident.

“As you can hear, the officer while struggling with Mr. Wright shouts ‘Taser, Taser’ several times,” he told reporters on Monday. “That is part of the officer’s training prior to deploying a Taser, which is a less-lethal device. That is done to make her partners aware, as well the subject, that a Taser deployment will be imminent.”

People online criticized this explanation. So did Wright’s father Aubrey Wright.

“I can’t accept that; a mistake,” he told Good Morning America in a Tuesday report. “That doesn’t even sound right. This officer has been on the force for 26 years. I can’t accept that.”

Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Daunte Wright’s family with co-counsel Jeff Storms, highlighted Potter’s role as president of a police union, the Brooklyn Center Police Officers Association, saying she shielded officers in the 2019 shooting death of Kobe Dimock-Heisler.

Law&Crime could not immediately reach the union for comment. A link to a Facebook page in its name led to this Tuesday morning:

Potter remains on standard administrative leave, said the BCA.

“Further personnel data are not public from the BCA under Minnesota law during an active investigation,” they said.

Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.

[Screengrab via Reuters]

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