ST. PAUL — Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter resigned Tuesday, April 13, two days after she fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. The city also received a resignation letter from Police Chief Tim Gannon, Mayor Mike Elliott announced Tuesday.
Potter wrote in a two-sentence letter on Tuesday to Elliott, acting city manager and Gannon: “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.
Potter, a Brooklyn Center officer for 26 years, was put on administrative leave after she shot Wright on Sunday afternoon, April 11. Pressure has been growing for officials to terminate Potter.
Elliott said he hopes Potter stepping down will bring some calm to the community, though he says people ultimately want justice.
“We have to make sure justice is served,” he said Tuesday. "... Daunte Wright deserves that.”
Gannon, who played a portion of video recorded by the officer’s body camera at a Monday news conference, said Potter mistakenly fired her firearm instead of her Taser.
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In the video, the officer can be heard warning Wright that she will tase him, then yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” as she draws her actual firearm and fires one shot before screaming, “Holy s---! I shot him!”
“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,” Gannon said Monday. “This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, who is reviewing the case, said he expects to announce charges against Potter on Wednesday, though it was unknown Tuesday what they will be.
The update came Tuesday, after Mayor Elliott called on the governor to have the Minnesota attorney general review the case.
John Stiles, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said Tuesday that Attorney General Keith Ellison has confidence in Orput’s review of the case.
Orput said the charging decision won’t be made public until he has a chance to discuss it with Wright’s family.