The fatal police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man in a Minneapolis suburb Sunday afternoon has reignited nationwide calls for defunding the police.
With Wright’s death, all eyes are on Brooklyn Center’s police department. In the days since the shooting, Kim Potter, the white police officer charged with Wright’s killing, and Police Chief Tim Gannon have resigned.
Gannon said Potter, a 26-year veteran, had made a mistake in firing her gun at Daunte Wright. Video of the shooting taken from the officer’s body camera includes audio of her saying “Holy (expletive)! I shot him,” after firing a single round from her handgun.
Gannon said the officer’s immediate distress showed her use of the gun was unintentional.
“As you can hear, the officer, while struggling with Mr. Wright yells ‘Taser! Taser!’ several times. That is part of the officer’s training prior to deploying a Taser, which is a less lethal device,” Gannon said. “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.”
Gannon released the body camera footage less than 24 hours after it took place. In response to criticism of the department’s handling of protesters, Gannon stood by his officers and said he would not give in to calls for his resignation, but he did just that on Tuesday. He had been with the department for about five years.
A person within the department who spoke to Fox News described Gannon as a “good, dedicated man” and that she was “so sad to see him go.”
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced Monday evening that the city had voted to give his office “command authority” over the police department.
The city has tapped Tony Gruenig, a 19-year veteran to be acting police chief in the interim. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said Gruenig is “someone who knows Brooklyn Center well.”
“He probably more than any other person in the department, has a very strong commitment to working directly with the community to help resolve issues,” he said.
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