The service file of Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright at a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, reveals some details about her time on the police force, but no recent information on her training on the force.
Wright, a Black man, was shot once and died after a traffic stop April 11. Officers initially stopped Wright because the car had an expired registration.
The city’s police chief said he believed Potter, a 26-year veteran, mixed up her Taser and her handgun. The chief and Potter resigned two days after the shooting. Potter was arrested in April and charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Her next court hearing is May 17.
The city of Brooklyn Center late Wednesday released more materials from Potter’s service file to The Associated Press. The file was released to AP through a request under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
Potter received a chief’s commendation in 2007 for her handling of a “suicidal homicidal suspect” and his 2-year-old daughter. A copy of the commendation said: “Your actions assisted in the safe release of the child and the apprehension of the suspect without incident.”
Other commendations were for Potter recovering a company’s stolen computer in 2008; helping recover a child who was the subject of an Amber Alert in 2006; helping locate and arrest two bail-jumpers from Mississippi in 2006; and tracking down suspects in a home invasion robbery in 1998.
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One note of praise for Potter in 2006 was based mainly on a citizen who called the department that year, praising her and three other officers for “how professionally they conducted themselves during a high-risk stop and not like what he sees on the T.V. show COPS,” according to the chief’s notes of the call.
The materials also included a four-hour suspension for Potter missing in-service training in 2000. The subject of the training wasn’t given. Other discipline included a verbal reprimand in 2007 for Potter’s work as part of a team focusing on violent robberies in part of the city. A supervisor wrote that Potter didn’t do enough to make direct contact with people in the area.
The file also included reprimands for driving accidents in 1995, 1996 and 1998, respectively, including one where Potter spun out on wet pavement, hit a curb and caused up to $4,000 in damage to a squad car. The writeup in 1995, Potter’s first year on the force, noted that she was backing a different squad car out of the police garage the next day and hit a city code enforcement vehicle.
In 2019, Potter was one of the first officers on the scene of a fatal police shooting when officers shot an autistic man, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who had allegedly grabbed a knife, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Potter told two officers involved in the shooting to “exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other,” the newspaper reported, citing an investigative report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Potter and other officers were awarded the Medal of Merit for their response in a house fire in 2014, according to KARE-TV.
Her file was the second released to AP since the shooting. The city released material on April 26 that showed Potter earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota, and underwent law enforcement skills training at Alexandria Technical College before joining the Brooklyn Center Police Department in late February 1995.
Potter completed training courses in policy and procedures, firearms and “felony stop procedures,” among others, less than five months later, according to those documents.
Contributing: The Associated Press.