Cop who ‘accidentally’ killed man resigns
The police offer who shot and killed a 20-year-old black man during a traffic stop and the police chief who labelled the killing an "accident" have both handed in their resignation.
Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter, who is on administrative leave while the situation is investigated investigators, has now made a move to step down from her role over the killing of Daunte Wright.
However, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott revealed on Tuesday afternoon said he had not yet accepted Ms Potter's resignation, despite earlier telling CBS he wanted to fire her.
"We're doing our internal process to make sure that we are being accountable to the steps that we need to take," he told reporters.
So in the midst of a trial for a cop killing a black man, fifteen minutes from where he was murdered, the cops murdered another black man. 20 year old Duante Wright. Pulled over and subsequently murdered for having air fresheners on his rear view mirror.— Rick☭ (@RockyMinemos) April 12, 2021
Investigators are now considering what disciplinary action, or potential criminal charges, should be imposed on Ms Potter, who has been with the force for 26 years.
Police Chief Tim Gannon, who told reporters the shooting appeared to be "an accidental discharge" after Ms Potter shot her gun instead of using her taser, also handed in his resignation letter.
Why was Daunte Wright pulled over?
The fatal shooting occurred after Mr Wright was pulled over during a routine traffic stop on Sunday in Minneapolis.
After he gave the officers his name, the 20-year-old reportedly called his mum and told her he had been pulled over for hanging air fresheners from his rear view mirror.
However, on Monday, Police Chief Gannon told reports that Mr Wright was originally pulled over for an expired tag and officers only noticed the item hanging from the rear view mirror when they approached the car.
After running his name, the officers discovered there was a gross misdemeanour warrant out for him and attempted to arrest him.
Police body camera footage of the shooting shows officers pulling Mr Wright out of his car before scuffling briefly with the officers and getting back into the driver's seat.
Ms Potter can be heard shouting "I'll tase you" and then "taser, taser, taser" before pulling out her gun and shooting the 20-year-old.
"Holy s**t, I shot him," Ms Potter said.
Mr Wright managed to drive away but crashed his car a short time later after dying from his gunshot wound.
Minnesota is one of several US states where it is against the law to hang items from a car's rear view mirror due to concerns it could obstruct the driver's vision.
However, concerns have previously been raised that these kinds of minor infringements could be used an excuse to initially stop motorists and, in particular, target black drivers.
Following the deadly shooting, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota said it appeared this is what may have happened in the lead up to Mr Wright's death.
"The ACLU-MN has deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people," the organisation said.
"While we are waiting to learn more, we must reiterate that police violence and killings of people of colour must end, as must the over-policing and racial profiling that are endemic to our white supremacist system of policing."
Unrest rocks city following Wright's death
Mr Wright's death occurred in the same city where African American man George Floyd was killed during an arrest in 2020.
Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Mr Floyd's neck and back for more than nine minutes, despite Mr Floyd repeatedly begging for air and saying he couldn't breathe.
The city is already on edge due to Chauvin currently being trialled for murder, with Mr Wright's death further fuelling tensions and sparking protests.
Demonstrators clashed with police for the second night in a row, despite a 7pm curfew being enforced in the twin city of St. Paul and surrounding communities including Hennepin County, where Mr Wright was killed.
Around 40 protesters were arrested and several officers suffered minor injuries.
Police officials also claimed there was sporadic looting.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the police station in Brooklyn Center, with many carrying signs saying "Jail all racist killer cops," "Am I next?" and "No justice, no peace." Police fired tear gas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd.
It comes less than a year after Mr Floyd's death sparked a series of protests across the nation, some of them violent, and led to an ongoing racial reckoning in America.
US President Joe Biden said the shooting of Mr Wright was "tragic" but warned that violent protests were unjustifiable.
"(The shooting) was a really tragic thing that happened but I think we have to wait and see what the investigation shows," Mr Biden told reporters on Monday.
"In the meantime, I want to make it clear again: there is absolutely no justification, none, for looting. Peaceful protests - understandable.
"The fact is that we do know that the anger, pain and trauma that exists in the Black community, in that environment, is real. It's serious and it's consequential, but it does not justify violence or looting."
Originally published as Cop who 'accidentally' killed man resigns