The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as the officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright.
“As I watched 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,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said during the press conference.
“This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Police pulled Wright was pulled over for expired tabs but discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest for having a firearm without a permit. He was not armed at the time.
In the body camera footage, Potter can be heard yelling, “I’ll Tase you. Taser! Taser! Taser!” while holding a pistol. Wright returns to his vehicle and attempts to drive away when the officer shot him. He crashed into another vehicle after driving several blocks.
Gannon added that a further investigation would determine whether or not Potter would be terminated. “I think we can look at the video and ascertain whether she’ll be returning,” he said.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has since been handed control of the city’s police department, acknowledging that the community remains “collectively devastated” over George Floyd’s death.
“Let me be very clear: My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession,” he said at a news conference. “So I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.”
Potter has been placed on administrative leave.
Wright was shot just 15 miles away from the location Floyd was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. His trial is currently underway.
“We recognize that this couldn’t have happened during a worse time,” he said Monday.