The police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright was identified on Monday (April 12) as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which identified Potter, she has been placed on administrative leave.
The Star Tribune reports that Potter has served on the force’s negotiation team and was previously president of the police union representing her department. She was also reportedly a longtime member of the Law Enforcement Memorial Association.
In 2019, Potter was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene after police fatally shot Kobe Dimock-Heisler.
Potter instructed the two officers involved in the shooting to “exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras and to not talk to each other,” according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. Potter was also present when one of the officers gave his statement, and both officers were cleared of all wrongdoing in the incident.
The head of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, Brian Peters, further told the Tribune that Potter was training a new officer on Sunday (April 11), which was the day of Wright’s fatal shooting.
Potter mistakenly fired her handgun at Wright instead of her taser, the Brooklyn Center police chief said on Monday. In body camera footage from the incident, Potter could be heard yelling, “Taser!” but fired a gun instead.
“As I watch the video and listen 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,” Police Chief Tim Gannon said.
“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,” he added.
In the aftermath of the shooting, City Manager Curt Boganey was fired earlier this week. On Monday, Boganey said Potter should be given due process, while Mayor Mike Elliot said she should be fired. Control over the police department will now be transferred to Elliot after city council voted on the matter.