Police chief and officer who shot Daunte Wright resign

Protesters clashed with police over the shooting death of Daunte Wright at a rally at the Brooklyn Center Police Department on APril 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
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Star Tribune (TNS)

MINNEAPOLIS — Brooklyn Center police Chief Tim Gannon and Kimberly Potter, the police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday, have both resigned from the department.

Mayor Mike Elliott announced the chief’s resignation during a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.

In a letter to city officials earlier in the day, Potter wrote that she was resigning effective immediately, according to a statement from Law Enforcement Labor Services, the state’s largest public safety labor union.

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“I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability,” Potter, a 26-year veteran of the department, wrote in a letter to Elliott, Gannon and acting City Manager Reggie Edwards, “but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”

Elliott told reporters Tuesday that city officials did not ask Potter to resign.

“That was a decision she made,” he said.

Elliott also said he was going to ask Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to move the case to the state attorney general’s office. The Washington County attorney’s office is currently overseeing the case.

“This is a case that requires the attorney general to step in and prosecute,” Elliott said.

The shooting happened about 2 p.m. Sunday in the area of North 63rd and Orchard avenues. Gannon said he was told during a briefing that officers stopped Wright’s car because it had an expired tag and, when they checked his name, found he had a warrant.

Gannon said he believed Potter had meant to use her Taser but had mistakenly fired her service weapon instead.

Gannon, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was with the department for more than two decades, according to a local news report, when he took the top job in 2015. At the time, he said he wanted to reduce crime, create better connections between officers and the community and to diversify the department.

Commander Tony Gruenig, who has been with the department 19 years, will serve as acting police chief. At the City Hall news conference, he said he’d just learned of the staffing change.

“It’s very chaotic right now,” he said. “We’re just trying to wrap our heads around the situation and try to create some calm.”

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