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Training details scarce in file of Minnesota officer who shot Wright

Associated Press

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This booking photo released by the Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff shows Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who is charged Wednesday, April 14, 2021, with second-degree manslaughter for killing 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright in a shooting that ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police. (Hennepin County Sheriff via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The service file of a former police officer charged in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, in a Minneapolis suburb this month contains scarce details about her police training history.

The files released to The Associated Press on Monday include former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter’s job application, letters of recognition, pay information and a training status letter with most sections blacked out. The AP requested the documents under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

The documents show 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 the documents.

Redacted sections in the training status letter include volunteer experience, financial history, driving record, and criminal history, among others. Brooklyn Center officials have not responded to questions about whether any materials, including commendations or discipline, were withheld.

Other records show Potter volunteered for the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association’s honor guard, which marches at funerals and memorials for officers killed in the line of duty, early in her career before becoming a hostage negotiator, field training officer and the local union president.

Potter is charged with second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said he believed Wright mistakenly fired her handgun instead of her Taser. Her body camera video recorded Potter shouting, “Taser! Taser!” before she shot Wright.

Wright’s family and community leaders are calling for more serious charges against Potter. She and Gannon resigned days after Wright died.

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