Brooklyn Center Police Chief Resigns Along With Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright
In Brooklyn Center on April 12, 2021, protesters clashed with police over the shooting death of Daunte Wright at a rally at the Brooklyn Center Police Department.]
Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned from his position Tuesday afternoon, a development that comes after Kim Potter, the 26-year veteran police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, was reported by local media to have submitted a letter of resignation as well. 

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot announced Gannon’s resignation during a press conference on Tuesday, reports WCCO-TV. Elliot said that two senior police officials would take control of the department amidst the ongoing “crisis” in the area. According to NBC News, the mayor did not provide a specific reason to reporters for why Gannon had decided to resign as the department’s police chief. 

According to The Associated Press, activists who showed up to the press conference were quick to criticize Acting Police Chief Tony Gruenig for not having a plan for the department. It’s not clear how much notice Gruenig had prior to assuming the role.

Potter, 48, announced in a letter to city officials earlier Tuesday that she was resigning effective immediately. “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,” she wrote in the resignation letter. 

The area has been hit with a wave of unrest in the two days since the shooting. According to the local news outlet KSTP, law enforcement officials arrested forty people, on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, for everything from violating curfew to engaging in rioting.

Elliot told reporters in the Tuesday press conference that Potter was not pressured to resign from her job. He also said that he hoped the community would experience calm soon, remarks that come after multiple law enforcement agencies were deployed to the general area to facilitate order.

The two officers’ resignations come only days after Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright, 20, during a traffic stop on Sunday, after he allegedly started resisting arrest. Police officials said Monday that they believed the officer meant to fire her taser when she shot Daunte with her gun. Body camera footage released by the police department shows Potter repeatedly yelling “taser!” before shooting him. 

“Holy sh*t, I just shot him,” she said after firing her gun, according to bodycam footage from the encounter. Daunte’s car proceeded to travel several blocks until a crash brought it to a halt. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Daunte died of a gunshot wound. 

Back on Monday, before resigning, Gannon said that he believed the officer intended to deploy a taser when she shot him, noting that she shouted “taser” before firing. “As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” said Gannon, reports ABC News.

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