Commendations, minor reprimands for officer in Wright death

MINNEAPOLIS — The service file of a suburban Minneapolis police officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Daunte Wright includes a commendation for safely resolving an incident involving a suicidal man, as well as a handful of reprimands for driving mishaps.

The city of Brooklyn Center late Wednesday released more materials from the service file of Kim Potter, the white officer who shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop April 11. 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 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.

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 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, including one in 1995 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.

The materials shed no new light on Potter’s training during her career.

The city last month released material that showed Potter earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Mary’s College in Winona 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.

Potter’s next court hearing is May 17.

Find AP’s full coverage of the death of Daunte Wright at:

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