Veteran officer who shot Daunte Wright was also head of police union
When Kim Potter approached Daunte Wright’s car Sunday afternoon, she carried with her a handgun, Taser and more than 26 years of experience as a police officer in Brooklyn Center.
Despite her vast experience, investigators say Potter mistakenly pulled out her handgun instead of her taser and fired a single shot, striking Wright while attempting to take him into custody.
On Tuesday, less than two days after the deadly encounter, Potter sent a letter of resignation to city leaders, writing that “I have loved every minute of being a police officer… but I believe it’s in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot told reporters on Tuesday that he did not ask for Potter’s resignation, but implied that she would have been fired anyway.
“I’m appreciative of the officer stepping down,” he said. “I’m not sure if she got wind of an impending termination or not.”
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Brian Peters, the executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, says he’s disappointed by recent comments by politicians that “fuel anger and hostility towards all law enforcement.”
In a statement Monday, he urged the public to hold off on making a conclusion on this case until after the investigation is complete.
Sources tell 5 INVESTIGATES has learned Washington County Attorney Pete Orput plans to announce charges on Wednesday. The Hennepin County attorney handed off the case to Washington County under a previously reached agreement to avoid a conflict of interest.
In addition to her two-plus decades of experience, Potter also was the president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officers’ Association.
Minneapolis-based attorney Keneth Udoibok believes her past work with the union will be helpful moving forward.
“She has experience coaching and helping other officers through this process,” said Udoibok, who has spent his career focused on excessive force cases involving police officers.
“She may have represented police officers in similar situations,” he added.
In fact, Potter did play a role the last time Brooklyn Center officers were involved in a deadly shooting. In that case from 2019, officers shot and killed a man when responding to a domestic assault involving a weapon.
According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, when Potter arrived on the scene, she instructed the officers to “turn off their body-worn cameras and to not talk to each other.”
The officers were not charged in that case.