'Worst day of my life': As Daunte Wright's family grieves, police chief and officer resign in Brooklyn Center shooting

Written by on April 13, 2021


Curfew didn’t cease tons of from a second day of protesting for Daunte Wright, a 20-year outdated killed by Brooklyn Heart Police on April 11, 2021. USA TODAY

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. – The police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright throughout a site visitors cease in a Minneapolis suburb and town’s police chief have resigned, the mayor introduced Tuesday. 

The loss of life of the 20-year-old Black man has shaken a metropolis already unsettled after George Floyd died some 10 miles away throughout a police arrest final Could, an incident that triggered nationwide protests calling for an finish to racial injustice and police brutality.

Kim Potter, a 48-year-old officer and a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Heart Police Division, submitted her letter of resignation Tuesday morning, Mayor Mike Elliott stated in a information convention. He stated town didn’t ask her to resign however had been transferring towards firing her.

Police Chief Tim Gannon additionally resigned Tuesday. Commander Tony Gruenig, who has been with the division for 19 years, will take over as appearing chief. Metropolis Supervisor Curt Boganey was also fired.

“We wish to ship the message to the neighborhood that we’re taking this example very significantly,” Elliott stated.

Gruenig stated he hoped to convey “some calm for the neighborhood” after protests rocked the world Monday night time and resulted in about 40 arrests. Gruenig stated he was knowledgeable of his change in standing not lengthy earlier than Tuesday’s information convention. 

The Minnesota Division of Public Security Bureau of Prison Apprehension recognized Potter because the officer who shot Wright on Sunday. The Hennepin Medical Examiner stated Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest and dominated his loss of life a murder.

Gannon stated he believed Potter mistook her firearm for her Taser when she shot Wright. The division launched body-camera footage of the incident throughout which Potter shouted “Taser” a number of instances earlier than firing, then sounded shocked upon realizing she had shot Wright.

Wright’s household referred to as for the officer to be held accountable in an emotional information  convention with civil rights lawyer Ben Crump on Tuesday.

“I hope that since she went forward and she or he resigned that they maintain her on the highest (accountability) as a result of she was the legislation,” stated Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright.

Crump stated he was surprised when he heard information that one other Black man had been killed by the hands of police not removed from the place former officer Derek Chauvin is on trial in Floyd’s loss of life. 

“For those who instructed me and I did not see little Daunte’s face and his mom and grandmother crying, I would not imagine it,” Crump stated alongside the Wright and Floyd households.

Crump stated he thought that throughout the trial “police could be on their finest conduct, that they might train the best customary of care, that they might consider de-escalation in a approach they’ve by no means concentrated in America.”

Katie Wright, Wright’s mom, referred to as the day her son died “the worst day of my life.” She described the telephone name she obtained as he was pulled over and the way, after he was shot, the girl who was within the passenger seat video-called her – and she or he noticed her son lifeless within the driver seat of the automotive.

“I by no means imagined this was what was going to occur. I simply thought that he was getting arrested,” Wright stated.

“They murdered my nephew,” Naisha Wright added, saying her nice nephew was now “fatherless. Not over a mistake, over homicide.”

Gannon stated officers tried to arrest Wright due to an excellent warrant.

Courtroom information present Wright was being wanted failing to look in courtroom on fees that he fled from officers and possessed a gun with out a allow throughout an encounter with Minneapolis police in June. 

Video from Potter’s physique digital camera reveals an officer on the driving force facet of Wright’s automotive starting to handcuff Wright, who then breaks free and reenters the automotive. A wrestle ensues and Potter is heard shouting “Taser” thrice earlier than taking pictures Wright. Potter is heard shouting, “Oh (expletive), I simply shot him” and Wright drives away.

Wright’s father told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday he couldn’t settle for police’s rationalization of what occurred throughout the cease.

“I misplaced my son. He’s by no means coming again. I can’t settle for that. A mistake? That doesn’t even sound correct,” he stated.

Prison fees could possibly be drafted quickly

Potter was recognized late Monday by the Bureau of Prison Apprehension, the state company main the investigation into Wright’s loss of life.

In response to the Star Tribune, Potter grew to become a police officer in 1995 and has served on the division’s negotiation staff.

Potter was additionally one of many first officers on the scene of a deadly police taking pictures in 2019, when officers shot an autistic man, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who had allegedly grabbed a knife, the Star Tribune reported.

The newspaper, citing an investigative report from the Hennepin County Lawyer’s Workplace, reported Potter instructed two officers concerned within the taking pictures to “exit the residence, get into separate squad automobiles, flip off their physique worn cameras, and to not speak to one another.”

Hennepin County Lawyer Mike Freeman said in a statement Monday the Washington County Lawyer would deal with the case transferring ahead.

Prosecutors within the space have an settlement to refer instances of police use of lethal power that happen of their jurisdictions to different close by prosecutors or the state lawyer basic.

The Washington County Lawyer’s Workplace didn’t instantly reply to USA TODAY’s request for remark, however County Lawyer Pete Orput told the Star Tribune he hoped to have any prison fees which may be introduced within the case drafted by Tuesday or Wednesday.


Protesters took to the streets in Brooklyn Heart, Minnesota, the place the household of Daunte Wright says he was shot by police after a site visitors cease. USA TODAY

Protests flare exterior Brooklyn Heart police division

The town braced Tuesday for the potential of one other night time of protests. On Monday, crowds started gathering within the afternoon exterior the police headquarters in Brooklyn Heart and drew tons of by the night.

A drum beat incessantly, and folks broke into frequent chants of “Daunte Wright!” 

About 90 minutes after a 7 p.m. curfew deadline, police started firing fuel canisters and flash-bang grenades to drive protesters away. Some protesters, carrying fuel masks, picked up smoke canisters and threw them again towards police. 

About 40 arrests have been made starting from curfew violation to rioting, Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer stated Tuesday. Some officers suffered minor accidents from thrown objects throughout the protests, Langer added.

A candlelight memorial for Wright, together with a raised fist statue, was erected the place he was shot Monday night time. 

Demonstrators gathered in different cities across the U.S., too, drawing crowds in New York and Los Angeles, in addition to in Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; and Louisville, Kentucky.

The Minnesota Twins (MLB), Wild (NHL) and Timberwolves (NBA) all postponed dwelling video games scheduled for Monday.


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Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, Erik Newland and Jorge Ortiz; The Related Press

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/nation/2021/04/13/daunte-wright-shooting-brooklyn-center-police-officer-kim-potter-taser/7200673002/

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