Kim Potter trial: Daunte Wright not first shooting connected to ex-cop: ‘100%’ deserves murder charge

More than a year before the deadly shooting of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, former Minnesota officer Kim Potter had been one of the first on the scene of the shooting of Kobe Dimock-Heisler that occurred while police responded to a domestic disturbance call. 

Though they never knew each other, Heisler and Wright were both from Brooklyn Center and around the same age when they were killed by police. It was during the trial for Derek Chauvin that Heisler’s mother recalled hearing that 20-year-old Wright had been shot and Potter was responsible.  

“I 100% believe she deserves murder charges,” Heisler’s mother, Amity Dimock, told Fox News Digital. “I believe that if any other ordinary person were in these circumstances that you know it was you or me who had gone and done the same thing, we would certainly be looking at higher charges.” 

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Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter for shooting Wright during an April 11 traffic stop. Video shows a trainee officer attempting to handcuff Wright after learning he had an active warrant, but Wright slipped away from his grasp. Potter shouted “Taser” several times before instead firing her handgun into Wright who was in the driver’s seat. 

In tacking on a first-degree manslaughter charge in September, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Potter recklessly handled a firearm when she shot and killed Wright. Fox News Digital has reached out to Ellison’s office for comment regarding the push for the murder charge. 

 

Daunte Wright, left, was killed in an April traffic stop. Kim Potter, right, is charged with manslaughter in his killing. Broolyn Center, Minnesota city leaders are considering a resolution to give the city manager the power to declare a curfew as Potter prepares to stand trial. 
(Facebook/Hennepin County Sheriff)

As the trial began last week, additional dash camera video played in court showed an inconsolable Potter rocking herself back and forth on the curb. 

“I very rarely look at these murder videos,” Dimock, who has since moved out of Brooklyn Center, said. “I don’t care what anybody says. You will never be able to convince me it was an accident. And if it was, then sometimes even an accident puts you in jail and ruins your career.” 

“She was a 26-year veteran,” she added. “As far as I’m concerned, police should be held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens because of the power we give them. And instead, it seems to me like we allow them to operate on a lower standard. At this point, I’m just kind of over it.”

Before Wright’s name was posted on the marque in Minneapolis’ George Floyd Square or woven into the chain links at the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced in August 2020 that none of the officers would be charged for their deadly use of force in Heisler’s death. 

Investigative documents show Potter was among the first law enforcement to arrive after the shooting as the involved officers were still securing the scene so Heisler could receive medical treatment. Potter did not respond to the domestic disturbance call and was not present for the shooting. 

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Heisler, who was on the autism spectrum and had a history of mental health issues, pulled a knife and a hammer on his grandfather, prompting the frightened senior citizen to dial 911 on Aug. 31, 2019. The 21-year-old calmed down when officers arrived, but police still came inside to ensure everyone was safe. 

While seated on a couch, Heisler suddenly reached for a knife he had hidden between cushions and a struggle ensued between him and the four officers present. Three deployed their Tasers, but Heisler was unaffected and motioned to stab one of the partners, according to the investigation by Hennepin County prosecutors and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). That’s when officers Cody Turner and Brandon Akers fired, each striking Heisler three times, killing him almost instantaneously. 

In choosing not to charge any of the officers, Freeman emphasized how law enforcement made every effort to deescalate the situation, even when Heisler began to cry fearing he would be placed on another psychiatric hold. The lead prosecutor also argued the two officers who fired had a reasonable fear that two other officers and the grandmother were in danger of death or great bodily harm as the young man attacked with a knife. 

“The four Brooklyn Center police officers who initially responded to the scene used de-escalation tactics and seemed to have calmed down Mr. Dimock-Heisler. Even when he sprang from his chair, grabbed a knife and attempted to stab one of the officers, three officers fired their Tasers, with no effect,” Freeman said in a previous statement. “Then, and only then, did they fire their guns.”

Potter instructed Officers Turner and Akers to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other, investigative documents say. The four officers involved in the struggle with Heisler were escorted back to the Brooklyn Center Police Department and monitored until state investigators arrived to collect their uniforms and equipment, photograph them, and collect blood samples. The investigation notes that the involved officers did not discuss the incident with each other, or anyone else, until the BCA formally interviewed them. 

Though Dimock has insisted officers escalated the situation leading up to her son’s death by coming into the house, she does not believe in abolishing police altogether – rather that police reforms should involve reallocating fund and taking jobs away from police that they are not qualified for, such as responding to mental health calls. She said her son was “having a bad day” as someone on the autism spectrum, and his grandfather called police initially because he feared not for his own life, but that his grandson would hurt himself. 

Last week, Brooklyn Center moved to shift funding toward programs detailed in a resolution named the Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety & Violence Prevention Act, which was introduced by Mayor Mike Elliott earlier this year, just a month after Wright’s death. Protesters outside the Hennepin County Government Center last week at the start of Potter’s trial also evoked Heisler’s name in calling for justice. 

One of the attorneys on Potter’s defense team is Earl Gray. Dimock said the same attorney had her testify years ago over an unrelated 2004 drunk driving accident. “Earl Gray has been a person I’ve hated in my life for 16 years now,” Dimock said.  

She was frustrated to see Gray again cross-examining Wright’s mother, Katie Bryant, in court last week. 

“Seeing him do that to Katie and trying to make it seem like what she didn’t know or care well, or the kid was bad because he didn’t have a driver’s license and smoke weed or whatever,” Dimock said of Potter’s defense attorney. “I mean, I really just wanted to punch him in the face.” 

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Gray also was the attorney for Akers and Turner. He did not return a Fox News Digital request for comment Monday. 

Testimony revealed that Wright was pulled over for expired tags and an air freshener in his rearview mirror. But officers attempted to take him into custody upon learning he had an active warrant. The warrant was for waving a gun in public in Minneapolis. 

He was also out on probation following a 2019 attempted robbery, and the victim detailed to Fox News Digital last week how Wright allegedly held a gun to her head and choked her, demanding she hand over money she had stuffed into her bra to pay rent later that day.

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