The Minnesota police officer who shot dead a black man during a Sunday traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb has been identified as Kimberly A. Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force.
The identity of the 48-year-old officer was released Monday night by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
Potter has been placed on administrative leave following the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center on Sunday afternoon, the BCA said.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge” in which the officer mistook her gun for a Taser.
Brian Peters, head of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said Potter was training a new officer at the time in her role as a field training officer.
Police bodycam footage released Monday shows three officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop.
One officer is seen trying to handcuff Wright, who immediately jumps back into his car in an apparent attempt to flee.
While the other officers struggle with Wright in his car, Potter is heard shouting “Taser!” several times moments before firing her gun.
Immediately afterwards, she says on the video: “Holy sh*t, I just shot him!”
Wright managed to drive several blocks before coming to a standstill when he hit another car.
He was pronounced dead at the scene and his girlfriend – a passenger in the car at the time – suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Wright’s death sparked protests on Sunday night which continued Monday, as police used tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowd.
Potter gained her Minnesota police officer’s license in 1995 at the age of 22, shortly before starting her career at the Brooklyn Center Police Department, according to state records accessed by the Star Tribune, who first named the officer.
During her tenure, Potter has served on the department’s negotiation team and as a union president for her colleagues, the newspaper reported.
She is married to a former police officer and has two adult sons.
In August 2019, Potter was one the first officers to arrive at the scene of the police shooting of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, the report said.
She instructed the 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,” according to an investigative report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.