(BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn.) — The police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday has resigned from her position.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced at a press conference Tuesday that Officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, had submitted her resignation effective immediately. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also submitted his resignation Tuesday.
“We did not ask her to resign, that was a decision she made,” Elliott said of Potter.
In a letter to city officials, Potter wrote, “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 attorney, Earl Gray, had no further comment Tuesday.
Later Tuesday, Elliot revealed that he had not yet accepted Potter’s resignation.
“We’re still working through our own processes, and making sure that we take the steps that are necessary to … accept the resignation,” the mayor told ABC News. “Let’s just say my team is evaluating the current circumstances, which are very complex.”
Elliot announced on Twitter that he is asking the Minnesota governor to reassign the case to the Minnesota attorney general’s office to “ensure transparency.”
Commander Tony Gruenig, who has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 19 years, has been named acting police chief, according to the mayor.
Wright, a father to a 2-year-old boy, was driving in Brooklyn Center, about 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis, when he was stopped by police Sunday afternoon. The officers initially pulled him over for an expired registration tag on his car but determined during the traffic stop that he had an outstanding gross misdemeanor warrant, according to Gannon.
As police tried to take him into custody, Wright got back into the car and Potter fired her gun, striking him. Gannon said Potter intended to deploy her Taser instead of her gun when she “accidentally” shot Wright.
In body camera video, which was released at a Monday press conference, Gannon said Potter could be heard warning Wright that she was going to deploy her Taser.
“However, the officer drew their handgun instead of their Taser,” Gannon told reporters Monday. “It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet. This appears to me, from what I 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.”
Potter can be heard in the video yelling, “Holy s—, I just shot him!”
Wright’s aunt, Nyesha Wright, told reporters Tuesday that she hopes officials hold Potter “at the highest extent of the law.”
“Because she was the law,” Nyesha Wright continued. “She is supposed to protect and serve.”
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the deadly shooting.
Protests over Wright’s shooting continued Tuesday for the third straight night, despite a curfew. Although some gatherings were peaceful, a demonstration in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters turned violent again, according to Col. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol.
“As the evening unfolded, the event evolved and became more contentious and tensions rose,” Langer said at a press conference early Wednesday. “Our teams worked together in a coordinated fashion to enforce the dispersal orders that were given and ended up making many arrests — many arrests for riot and other criminal behaviors.”
“We have upwards of 60 arrests for people that were booked into the Hennepin County Jail for various charges,” he added.
“The behaviors that we continue to see are unacceptable and we’re not going to tolerate them, but we still need help,” he told reporters. “We need help from people who can support us in our message to say, it’s fine and we encourage you to be peaceful and exercise your First Amendment right. It is not acceptable and will not be tolerated if you choose to come and do criminal activity and destroy property and throw objects and make it unsafe for people to come and exercise their First Amendment rights.”
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