In wake of the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, police have surrounded Officer Kim Potter’s home in the Champlin suburb of Minneapolis with concrete barriers.
A neighbor of Potter reported to the Wall Street Journal that the ‘community is on edge.’ “We’re stressed, we’re nervous,” the woman stated. “I’ve been told some of the neighbors have left.” According to KSTP, Potter has worked for the department for nearly 25 years and is president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officers Association.
20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed by Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on the afternoon of Sunday, April 11. CNN reports that Wright was with his girlfriend driving to the home of his older brother, Damik Bryant. Wright’s car was stopped by police officers due to an expired license plate registration. According to NBC News, officers searched his registration number and also found an outstanding arrest warrant, which prompted the arrest. The warrant was from a December 2019 incident during which Wright and a high school acquaintance had both been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery in Osseso, Minnesota. The body camera footage released during a news conference shows two other officers approaching Wright’s car and Kim Potter, the officer who fired the shot, standing behind them.
According to NBC, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters at the scene that as Daunte had been pulled over, he called his mother to tell him that police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear view mirror — which is illegal in the state of Minnesota. Mrs. Wright told her son to put the officers on the phone so she could provide them with car insurance details. She then heard police instruct her son to exit his vehicle. “I heard police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,” she said through tears. The call ended, Mrs. Wright dialed his number again, and his girlfriend answered and said he had been shot. As the officers on the opposite side of the vehicle attempted to arrest Wright, he resisted arrest by breaking free and jumping back into the driver’s seat. Officer Kim Potter threatened to tase him, shouting, “Taser!” at least three times. Instead of a taser, Potter mistakenly pulled out a gun and is heard screaming, “Holy sh*t! I just shot him!” The car’s door closed, Wright drove away, and he crashed his car. Police and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures following the crash, but Wright died at the scene. The fatal shooting has sparked outrage over “another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement,” as Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota stated on Twitter.
Wright’s death has led to civil unrest in the state of Minnesota and around the country. CNN reports that the Brooklyn Center Police Department has made “upwards of sixty arrests” on Tuesday night following the demonstrations. Protests began peacefully, but chaos erupted around the Brooklyn Center Police Station. Officers used pepper spray and fired flash bombs at protesters, who hurled water bottles and other projectiles at officers in riot gear.
Officer Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, and both her and police chief Tim Gannon have submitted resignation letters to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott. Her Champlin home is surrounded by concrete barriers as civil unrest continues.
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ARTICLE: EVA SALGADO
US NEWS EDITOR: CARSON WOLF
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS
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