The fatal shooting of Daunte Wright on Sunday by a Minnesota police officer immediately prompted calls for the officer to be both identified and fired. The officer has been identified as Kim Potter and she, along with the Brooklyn Center police chief, submitted their resignations on Tuesday.
According to the Washington Post, Potter was a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department and has been the president of the police union. While Mayor Mike Elliott said on Monday he believed Potter should be fired, Elliott told reporters on Tuesday that the city did not ask Potter to resign. She had been put on administrative leave after the shooting pending an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Considering that Elliot has potentially been given “command control” of the police department, it’s quite possible she could’ve been fired in the coming days and her resignation was an attempt to avoid that outcome.
From the Washington Post:
Potter joined the Brooklyn Center Police Department in 1995, according to her LinkedIn page. She was first licensed as a police officer in Minnesota at age 22 that same year, the Star Tribune reported. In 2019, she was elected president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association, according to the group’s Facebook page. She was also a longtime member of the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, where she served on its “casket team.”
Potter, who is married to a former police officer and has two adult sons, most recently worked on the Brooklyn Center police’s negotiation team, the Star Tribunereported.
She has been involved in one fatal police shooting in the past.
In 2019, Potter was among the first to arrive at a home in the Minneapolis suburb after two officers fatally shot a mentally ill man six times after he allegedly lunged at them with a knife, according to a report released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office last year.
“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 wrote in her resignation letter.
At no point in her letter was there any regret, remorse, or even an offer of condolences to Wright’s family. As many have pointed out, it’s odd that she wrote she “loved every minute” of being a cop considering she just fatally shot someone while on-duty. Did she love those minutes as well?
The fact that she was a 26-year veteran makes her inability to tell the difference between a taser and a gun even more mind-boggling. What’s the point of having 26 years of experience if it suddenly just goes out the window when it matters most?
Tim Gannon, the now-former chief of the BCPD, also submitted his resignation on Tuesday according to CBS Minnesota. Gannon’s handling of the protests in the city, and non-committal answers during a press conference about the shooting drew the ire of many Brooklyn Center residents. It’s unclear what motivated his decision to resign.
While Potter is unlikely to face any consequences in the department now that she’s resigned, she could still potentially face criminal charges. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told the Star Tribune he intended to complete a “thorough yet expedited” review of potential charges by Wednesday.
Wright’s shooting has only further increased tensions in Minnesota. Brooklyn Center is just a few short miles from Minneapolis, where former police officer Derek Chauvin is currently standing trial for the death of George Floyd last May. On Monday night, protesters took the street to express their anguish at yet another Black life senselessly cut short at the hands of police violence.
I just can’t shake the feeling that this is going to end how it usually does: the cop will face no consequences, people will take to the streets, and white America will be more upset over property damage than the fact that as long as you wear a badge on your chest, you can take a life and get away with it.