The police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright and the police chief of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, have both resigned in the fallout from the shooting and ensuring unrest.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said Tuesday at a press conference that Officer Kim Potter and Chief Tim Gannon both tendered their resignations, shortly after City Manager Curt Boganey was fired in the aftermath of Sunday’s deadly shooting, which was described by the chief as an accident.
“The City Council also passed a resolution [Monday] in support of relieving the police chief and the officer who was involved in the shooting,” Mr. Elliott said. “As of this morning, we have received a resignation, a letter, from Officer Kim Potter. In addition to that, we have also received a letter of resignation from the police chief.”
He added: “I am hoping this will bring some calm to the community.”
Officer Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, was shown on bodycam footage from a traffic stop on Sunday yelling, “Taser, Taser,” after which she appeared to shoot the 20-year-old Mr. Wright as he scuffled with police after jumping back into his car as they sought to take him into custody.
Chief Gannon described the shooting at Monday’s press conference as an “accidental discharge.”
The shooting of Mr. Wright, who was Black, triggered two nights of protests and unrest in the Minneapolis suburb, including the looting and vandalizing of at least 20 businesses.
“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,” Officer Potter wrote in a letter to city officials, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The mayor and city manager had expressed different opinions at Monday’s press conference on how to handle the officer who shot Mr. Wright.
Mr. Elliott said that he would support firing the officer who shot Mr. Wright, while Mr. Boganey said that she was entitled to due process.
“All employees are entitled to due process,” Mr. Boganey said. “This employee will receive due process and that’s really all that I can say today.”
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled Mr. Wright’s death a homicide caused by a gunshot wound to the chest.
Law enforcement made about 40 arrests Monday night in the Twin Cities area as hundreds of protesters and rioters took to the streets in violation of the 7 p.m. curfew.
Protesters descended on the police department, while officers “stood and protected that building courageously and bravely and were shelled pretty significantly with objects by the crowd,” Col. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol said early Tuesday at a press conference.
“At one point the crowd was pushing against the fence, and the fence gate swung open,” Col Langer said. “There were some fireworks, there were lasers.”
Police deployed tear gas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd. Several officers sustained minor injuries, but no protesters were hurt.
“Long night, but I think we maintained as much order as we could, and hopefully tomorrow night is nice and relaxed,” Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said at a press conference.
Five stores were looted in Minneapolis, as was a Dollar Tree in Brooklyn Center, said authorities, which was an improvement over the roughly 20 businesses vandalized in Sunday night’s rioting.
Sunday’s unrest prompted state officials to move ahead of schedule to phase 3 of Operation Safety Net, a public-security plan geared to the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The prosecution rested Tuesday, and the defense began calling witnesses in the trial of the former officer, who faces second- and third-degree murder charges in the May 25 death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody.
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