A Suburban Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black rider during a fight at a routine traffic stop and a police chief called the killing an apparent accident both resigned on Tuesday in the face of civilian riots.
The Mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, said both of them stepped down one day after the head told a news reporter that the officer who shot Daunte Wright seemed to have pulled her gun by mistake as she reached for his taser. Mayor Mike Elliott said the city council had passed the resolution calling for the dismissal of the chief Tim Gannon and the officer, Kim Potter.
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“I hope this will bring some tranquility to the public,” said Elliott, added that he had not received Potter’sPotter’s resignation, leaving the door to fire him. “We want to send a message to the community that we are taking this situation seriously.” Elliott expressed sympathy with protesters, which he said were motivated by fear rather than violations of law.
“What I saw was young people, many of which looked – everything looked like Daunte,” Elliott said, who is also an African-American. “And I could feel the pain. I could feel their anger. I could feel their fear.” Terminating Potter, rather than letting him resign, could affect the 26-year veteran’s ability to claim pension to find jobs in the future in law enforcement.
This step followed two nights of protests and clashes between demonstrators and police in Brooklyn Center, part of the region already on edge following the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, and a police officer killed George Floyd. Floyd, 46, who was killed in a handcuff with his neck, was pinned to the road below Chauvin’sChauvin’s knee, became the face of the national protests again racism and police brutality that swept the United States last summer.
After the nightfall on Tuesday, when the snow fell, several protesters at the lobbed bottles and other projectiles over the fence in front of the police headquarters. The officer ordered the demonstrators to go and then advance, fired tear gas, non-deadly rounds, and flash-bang round, as the crowd spread.
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