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Officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright resigns, protests turn violent for 3rd night

EMILY SHAPIRO, IVAN PEREIRA and MORGAN WINSOR
·4-min read

The police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday has resigned from her position amid widespread protests.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced at a press conference Tuesday that Officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, had submitted her resignation effective immediately. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also submitted his resignation Tuesday.

"We did not ask her to resign, that was a decision she made," Elliott said of Potter.

MORE: Daunte Wright's parents speak out after shooting in ABC News exclusive

In a letter to city officials, Potter wrote, "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."

Potter's attorney, Earl Gray, had no further comment Tuesday.

PHOTO: Officer Kim Potter, part of the Brooklyn Center Police negotiation team, in a photo taken on May 31, 2007. (Star Tribune via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Officer Kim Potter, part of the Brooklyn Center Police negotiation team, in a photo taken on May 31, 2007. (Star Tribune via Getty Images, FILE)

Later Tuesday, Elliot revealed that he had not yet accepted Potter's resignation.

"We're still working through our own processes, and making sure that we take the steps that are necessary to ... accept the resignation," the mayor told ABC News. "Let's just say my team is evaluating the current circumstances, which are very complex."

MORE: Officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during traffic stop meant to use Taser, police chief says

Elliot announced on Twitter that he is asking the Minnesota governor to reassign the case to the Minnesota attorney general's office to "ensure transparency."

Commander Tony Gruenig, who has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 19 years, has been named acting police chief, according to the mayor.

PHOTO: Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon speaks during a press conference about the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at the Brooklyn Center police headquarters, April 12, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon speaks during a press conference about the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at the Brooklyn Center police headquarters, April 12, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Wright, a father to a 2-year-old boy, was driving in Brooklyn Center, about 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis, when he was stopped by police Sunday afternoon. The officers initially pulled him over for an expired registration tag on his car but determined during the traffic stop that he had an outstanding gross misdemeanor warrant, according to Gannon.

MORE: Officer who shot Jacob Blake acted 'within policy,' won't face discipline, chief says

As police tried to take him into custody, Wright got back into the car and Potter fired her gun, striking him. Gannon said Potter intended to deploy her Taser instead of her gun when she "accidentally" shot Wright.

PHOTO: Daunte Wright is seen here in an undated file photo. (Wright Family)
PHOTO: Daunte Wright is seen here in an undated file photo. (Wright Family)

In body camera video, which was released at a Monday press conference, Gannon said Potter could be heard warning Wright that she was going to deploy her Taser."However, the officer drew their handgun instead of their Taser," Gannon told reporters Monday. "It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet. This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright."

MORE: Maryland state trooper fatally shoots 16-year-old after responding to reports of an armed man

Potter can be heard in the video yelling, "Holy s---, I just shot him!"

PHOTO: Daunte Wright is seen here in an undated file photo. (Wright Family)
PHOTO: Daunte Wright is seen here in an undated file photo. (Wright Family)

Wright's aunt, Nyesha Wright, told reporters Tuesday that she hopes officials hold Potter "at the highest extent of the law."

"Because she was the law," Nyesha Wright continued. "She is supposed to protect and serve."

MORE: Key takeaways from Derek Chauvin's murder trial, Day 12

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the deadly shooting.

PHOTO: Protesters take cover behind umbrellas amid flash bangs set off by authorities while rallying near the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 13, 2021, days after Daunte Wright was fatally shot by an officer. (Leah Millis/Reuters)
PHOTO: Protesters take cover behind umbrellas amid flash bangs set off by authorities while rallying near the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 13, 2021, days after Daunte Wright was fatally shot by an officer. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Protests over Wright's shooting continued in Brooklyn Center on Tuesday for the third straight night. Although some gatherings were peaceful, a demonstration in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters turned violent again, according to Col. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol.

"As the evening unfolded, the event evolved and became more contentious and tensions rose," Langer said at a press conference early Wednesday. "Our teams worked together in a coordinated fashion to enforce the dispersal orders that were given and ended up making many arrests -- many arrests for riot and other criminal behaviors."

MORE: George Floyd's brother testifies in 'spark of life' phase of Derek Chauvin murder trial

"We have upwards of 60 arrests for people that were booked into the Hennepin County Jail for various charges," he added.

"The behaviors that we continue to see are unacceptable and we're not going to tolerate them, but we still need help," he told reporters. "We need help from people who can support us in our message to say, it's fine and we encourage you to be peaceful and exercise your First Amendment right. It is not acceptable and will not be tolerated if you choose to come and do criminal activity and destroy property and throw objects and make it unsafe for people to come and exercise their First Amendment rights."

ABC News' Alexandra Faul, Josh Hoyos and Stephanie Ramos contributed to this report.

Officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright resigns, protests turn violent for 3rd night originally appeared on abcnews.go.com