Who Was Kim Potter? Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Career, Shot & Killed, Incident Detail, Investigation

Kim Potter
Kim Potter

Kim Potter Biography, Wiki

Kim Potter was named as the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer who shot and killed. She is the police union president and a veteran officer who served as a law enforcement honor guard.

“The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the officer who discharged her firearm during an officer-involved shooting incident that occurred on Sunday, April 11, in Brooklyn Center,” BCA wrote in a news release.

“One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver.

The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle,” wrote police.

Officers in pursuit and responding medical personnel attempted life-saving measures, but Wright died at the scene. Authorities are not releasing his name until a preliminary autopsy and family notification.

There was a female passenger in the car who sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash. She was transported to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. Occupants of the vehicle that was struck during the crash were not uninjured, police wrote.

Nicole Neri, a freelance photojournalist, wrote on Twitter, “Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop around 2 pm today. I’m here at the scene, where several dozen people are chanting and holding space at the police line.”

Age

Kim Potter’s age is unknown.

Career

According to the Star Tribune, Potter has serviced on the Brooklyn Center police department’s negotiation team.

A report from Hennepin County describes Potter’s role in a previous police shooting, in which Kobe Dimock-Heisler was fatally shot after allegedly rushing officers with a knife. Acting as union president, she was one of the first to the scene to advise the officers.

“Officer Kim Potter, a police officer with the Brooklyn Center Police Department (BCPD) for 24 years, was among the first to arrive,” the report says. “As she arrived, officers were still securing the scene so that Mr. Dimock-Heisler could receive medical treatment. Officer Potter instructed Officers Turner and Akers to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other.”

That shooting was later deemed justified.

The report also says of Potter: “Once EMTs arrived, at the direction of Officer Kim Potter, Officer Akers went outside, sat in his squad car, and deactivated his body-worn camera. Officer Akers did not give a full public safety statement, nor was he asked to, but did tell a sergeant that there was an unsecured knife at the scene.”

The report further states, “On September 2, 2019, Officer Joseph Vu gave a voluntary statement to BCA investigators. Officer Vu did not have an attorney with him when he gave his statement, but Officer Kim Potter, who is also the police union president, was present. Officer Vu watched his body-worn camera footage once before being interviewed.”

Gannon revealed the reason for the Daunte Wright traffic stop.

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“The tags were expired. Upon arrival when the officer made contact, at that time when he walked up to the car he discovered there was a hanging item from the rearview mirror. So there was a contact that the officer went up there initially for, obtained his ID, or his name, he walked back to his car and at that time he ran his name and he found out that he had a warrant. That’s why they removed him from the car and they were making a custodial arrest,” said Gannon.

That contradicted information from Wright’s mother, who told reporters that she believed he was stopped because of the air fresheners. Wright, 20, was the father of a young child. The chief said he did not believe Wright had any weapon in his vehicle.

The shooting led to a tense night in Brooklyn Center. Videos from the scene showed people jumping on the roof of a police car and shouting “f*** the police.” Looting broke out.

Star Tribune reporter Kim Hyatt wrote on Twitter, “Tense scene at the intersection of 63rd and Lee Ave N in Brooklyn Center. A crowd is shouting at the press and police saying that an officer didn’t have to kill a man. BCA is here investigating.”

Husband & Children

Potter is the mother of two adult sons, according to the Star Tribune, which says her husband is a former Fridley, Minnesota, police officer. Her sons are ages 19 and 22 according to public records.

Potter’s husband is now a corporate investigator with a major company. His LinkedIn page says he is “Skilled in Investigations, Threat Management, Active Shooter Instruction, Field training (FTO), Weapons Handling, Law Enforcement, and Glock and M4 Armorer and Range Master.” We are not naming him or his current company for his own protection.

The husband has a picture of a skull with a thin blue line flag as his cover picture on Facebook. “God Bless you and Kim for protecting and serving us!!” a friend wrote on his page a couple of years ago.

He worked for Fridley police for more than 26 years. He also served as a task force officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration and was a detective with the Anoka Hennepin Narcotics and Violent crimes Task Force.

It all comes as tensions are already heightened in Minnesota due to the trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension wrote on Twitter that there was an officer-involved shooting, and they said it was in Brooklyn Center in their tweet.

“BCA agents and crime scene personnel are en route to an officer-involved shooting incident in Brooklyn Center. More information to come,” they wrote. They’re the investigating agency.

Brooklyn Center police wrote in a news release that Brooklyn Center Police Department officers “initiated a stop for a traffic violation in the area of the 6300 block of Orchard Ave. in Brooklyn Center shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday.”

Officers determined the driver had an outstanding warrant. “At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle.”

Cause Of Death

Kim Potter was named as the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright after mistakenly thinking her gun was a taser. She is the police union president and a veteran officer who served as a law enforcement honor guard.

“​Officer Kim Potter has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years. She is on standard administrative leave. Further personnel data are not public from the BCA under Minnesota law during an active investigation.​” Her full name is Kimberly Potter.

After Wright’s death on the afternoon of April 11, 2021, protests and looting broke out in Brooklyn Center, and his distraught family gathered at the scene. Tensions are running high in the community located just 15 minutes from the spot where George Floyd died.

Kimberly A. Potter shot Wright in a traffic stop; police say they did not find a weapon in Wright’s car. They said in a press release that he tried to re-enter his vehicle when the officer shot him, and the chief played traumatic body cam video that shows the officer shouting that she had a taser before fatally shooting Wright. She actually had a firearm; Potter shot Wright at close range. Authorities formally named Wright, 20, as the man shot, and his family named him at the scene to local media outlets in Minnesota.

Wright’s family claimed that he was pulled over due to an air freshener hanging in his car, but police now say that he was actually pulled over for having expired tags.

In the news conference, the chief said social media reports that the officer had died of suicide were false.

Potter is on administrative leave, but the mayor wants her to lose her job. According to GovSalaries, Kimberly A. Potter in 2019 had an annual salary of $90,513.

However, Brian Peters, head of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that Potter was working Sunday as a field training officer, training a new officer.

“She’s just a very dedicated, passionate, good person. It’s completely devastating,” he said. “In a very tense moment, she made a mistake. It’s not her character.”

According to a DA’s office report, Potter is the department’s police union president; she has been a member of the “casket team” honor guard for the Law Enforcement Memorial Association. She is 48 years old and a registered Republican.

A Facebook post from the union, the Brooklyn Center Police Officers Association, indicates that Kim Potter became union president in 2019. “Let’s see if the new President is watching what the other page admins are posting ~. She has a long affiliation with the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA). Maybe she’ll take a bow and post a few pics?” the post reads.

The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, called for the officer to be fired. “My position is that we can not afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties,” the mayor said.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported that she and 10 other officers received a “chief’s unit certificate of commendation” four years ago for a death investigation.

“The group of officers performed lifesaving techniques on a victim while gathering witness testimony, leading to the arrest of a suspect,” the commendation read, according to the newspaper.

An article on the commendation in Hometown Source reads, “Fricke, Toohey, Vesey, Olson, Potter, and Lorentz were joined by Officer Brandon Zabel to be recognized for their response to a September 2016 shooting, where they formed a perimeter, rendering first aid to a victim-turned-suspect and gathering enough data to eventually arrest and charge suspects with felony charges.”

The police shooting led to a shakeup at city hall.

The mayor removed the city manager, who had said in a news conference that the officer would get due process, from his duties. “Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward. I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government,” he wrote on Twitter.

He also explained, “Moments ago the council passed a motion 3-2 to give command authority over our Police Department to my office. At such a tough time, this will streamline things and establish a chain of command and leadership. I appreciate the other councilmembers who voted to approve this motion.”

Gannon called the officer a very senior officer. According to her LinkedIn page, Kim Potter has worked for Brooklyn Center as a police officer for 26 years and three months.

“She has the right to be heard. She has the right to give her statement. She has a right to tell what she felt, what she thought. Not what I thought. Not what I saw. But what she thought,” he said. “She will not be returning to duty until this investigation has run its course and she, for all intents and purposes, I think we can look at the video and ascertain whether or not she’ll be returning.”

The chief said that officers are trained to shout a taser before deploying one.

“As you can hear, the officer while struggling with Mr. Wright shouts, ‘Taser, Taser’ several times. That is a part of the officer’s training prior to deploying a Taser, which is a less-lethal device. That is done to make her partners aware, as well as the subject, that a Taser deployment will be imminent. During this encounter, however, the officer drew their handgun instead of their Taser,” Gannon explained.

Tim Nelson, of Wisconsin Public Radio, wrote on Twitter, “Katie Wright says her son, Daunte has killed in Brooklyn Center a shooting involving police. She said he was taking his new car to get it washed when an encounter with police apparently turned fatal Sunday afternoon.”

It’s believed body-worn cameras and dash cameras were activated, according to the police press release, although those haven’t been released yet. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

The Star Tribune reported that a police officer was injured and taken to the hospital, according to dispatch audio. However, it was not yet clear what that officer’s condition was or how the injuries were caused.

Graphic Body Cam Video

A graphic body cam video released by the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police chief in a news conference appears to back up his contention that the female officer who shot Wright mistakenly thought she was using her taser.

It starts at about 1:20 into the above video.

Instead, she used her handgun and shot Wright at close range, killing him, the video reveals. Police Chief Tim Gannon released the portion of the body cam video on April 12, 2021, press conference.

“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,” the chief said in the news conference. “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge.”

He added that “my heart goes out to Daunte’s family.” He called the shooting “heartbreaking and unfathomable” and promised “transparency and accountability.”

The body cam video shows Wright’s car pulled over to the side of the road. Two male police officers approach it, one on either side. Wright is asked to step out of the vehicle and does.

A male officer starts handcuffing him from behind. Gannon said Wright was being arrested for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. At that time, you see the female officer approach. She puts her hands on Wright to assist the male officer in taking him into custody.

At that time, he breaks away from the officers and tries to get back into his car. A struggle ignites. “I’ll tase you! I’ll tase you!” she shouts to Wright in the video, weapon drawn. “Taser, taser, taser!”

But when she fires, it’s her firearm, not her taser. “Holy sh*t, I just shot him,” she says. The body cam video shared with the public ended there.

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