Who is Kimberly Potter? Cop who shot dead Daunte Wright, 20, 'covered up' 2019 shooting of autistic man
Potter was involved in the 2019 shooting of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, an autistic man, and she reportedly instructed two officers involved to 'turn off their body-worn cameras'
The cop who shot Daunte Wright has been officially named by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) as Kimberly A Potter, a 25-year veteran of the force. Potter's name first surfaced in a Star Tribune report, published just minutes prior to the BCA announcement.
The Tribune's report cited unnamed sources who confirmed that the 48-year-old cop was indeed the officer responsible. Earlier, Brooklyn Center Police Department Chief Tim Gannon released bodycam footage from the incident at a press conference. Gannon called the shooting of Wright "an accident", as footage shows Potter shouting "taser" several times but taking out her gun instead. Twitter was aghast that a 25-year-old veteran could confuse a taser for a gun. Was it accidental as Gannon claimed? We have no way to know, but we do have some information on Potter. Here's everything we know about the officer who shot Wright.
Who is Kimberley Potter?
"Kim" Potter has been with the Brooklyn Centre PD for over 25 years. Her LinkedIn profile says that she joined the force in February 1995. In a brief statement, the BCA said, "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."
A GovSalaries page lists her annual salary as $86,190 in 2018. That is estimated to be around 235% higher than the average salary, according to the website. The Tribune report says that Potter joined the force at the age of 22. She was serving on the force's Negotiation Team and is also a member of the Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA). A 2018 report lists Potter as 'Casket Sergent'.
Journalist Jonathan McCall tweeted, "#BREAKING The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the officer who shot and killed #DaunteWright as 26 Year veteran Kim Potter. Potter is also President of the Brooklyn Center Police Union." This was confirmed by a March 2019 Facebook post by the Brooklyn Centre Police Officer's Association.
#BREAKING The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the officer who shot and killed #DaunteWright as 26 Year veteran Kim Potter.— Jonathan McCall (@JonathanMcCall) April 13, 2021
Potter is also President of the Brooklyn Center Police Union.
Records show Potter was involved in the 2019 shooting of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, an autistic man. Reportedly, Potter instructed the two officers involved "to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other". Despite that, she and the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, and no charges were filed.
In 2017, Potter along with several other officers received the Chief’s Unit Certificate of Commendation for "good deeds and selfless acts". Potter was given the award for her response to a shooting outside a local business in March 2016. Potter does not appear to have a Facebook profile or a presence on Instagram and Twitter. A quick search for her on Google brought up several articles co-authored by Kimberly Potter. We could not verify if the officer was the author, but it is possible given that the articles are all related to policing.
They were first spotted by Twitter user @four20girl who tweeted, "This couldn’t be the same Kimberly A. Potter, could it??" Two of the articles deal with hate crimes, while the other talks about the Brady Law and gun regulation.
This couldn’t be the same Kimberly A. Potter, could it? pic.twitter.com/TYwp7zZqgp— Four20Girl (@four20girl) April 13, 2021
Shooting of Wright
At the time of the shooting, Potter was reportedly working as a field training officer, training a new officer. That officer's name has not been made public yet. Potter shouted, "I'll tase you" to Wright, but took out her service weapon and fired a single bullet instead. She then appears to have dropped her gun. “Holy s**t, I just shot him,” she said as Wright sped away.
At a press conference, Mayor Mike Elliot told reporters, "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." Tribune said, "She is married, has two adult sons and lives with her husband, a former Fridley police officer, in a different Minneapolis suburb."
The Tribune attempted to contact Potter and her family, but they could not be reached.