As we continue to ask how a cop with approaching three decades experience could mistake a Taser for her gun, the officer in question has swiftly bowed to the inevitable.
Kimberly Potter, who shot and killed a Black man after mistakenly grabbing her service weapon instead of her bright yellow Taser, resigned on Tuesday.
It is not clear yet, however, what, if any, criminal charges Potter could now face after killing Duante Wright during a traffic stop. Local prosecutors promised that they would make a decision very soon.
As for Potter, the officer said she was leaving her job because “it’s in the best interest of the community.”
Potter’s resignation came as Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced that the city’s police chief, Tim Gannon, also stepped down Tuesday.
“I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability,” Potter said in a statement, according to twincities.com.
“But I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately,” she wrote.
Elliott said the city council voted Monday to fire both Potter and Gannon in the wake of the incident that left Daunte Wright dead — with both then submitting resignations.
“Obviously it’s been an eventful several hours for our city,” Elliott told reporters on Tuesday. “We are still experiencing trauma from the events that unfolded that led to the killing of Daunte Wright.”
“I would hope that this would bring calm to the community,” he said.
The Mayor added that the council has given him authority to run the police department directly now.
Potter, whose service on the Brooklyn Center police force began back in 1995, had been placed on administrative leave following Sunday’s shooting death of Wright, 20, during an afternoon traffic stop.
Potter, 48, was identified Monday night by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The officer had also served before on the department’s negotiation team. She was one of the first officers on the scene of a fatal police shooting in 2019, when officers shot an autistic man, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who had allegedly grabbed a knife, the Star Tribune reported.
The newspaper, citing an investigative report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, reported Potter told two officers involved in the shooting to “exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other.”
Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Monday that Wright died from a gunshot wound to his chest and ruled the death a homicide.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement Monday the Washington County Attorney would handle the case moving forward.
Prosecutors in the area have an agreement to refer cases of police use of deadly force that occur in their jurisdictions to other nearby prosecutors or the state attorney general. According to various local reports, Washington County has promised that it will update the public on any possible charges against Potter in the next few days.