Ex-police chief sues for job loss in Daunte Wright murder

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — A former police chief in suburban Minneapolis alleges he was forced to resign for refusing to immediately fire the officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April 2021.

Tim Gannon filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court on Wednesday, alleging retaliation and racial discrimination for his decision to protect the procedural rights of former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter. Potter, who is white, said she mistook her gun for her Taser when she shot and killed Wright, who was black. She was convicted of manslaughter in December and sentenced to two years in prison.

The shooting came at a time of high tension in the area, with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, on trial for the murder of George Floyd, who was black.

Gannon, who is white, argues in his lawsuit that the false, malicious, defamatory and racist comments of Marquita Butler, a member of the Brooklyn Center City Council, suggest that her actions in response to protests over Wright’s death did not have served the black population of Brooklyn Center. Gannon is suing Butler, the city and its city manager, Reggie Edwards, for more than $50,000 in damages.

The lawsuit said Gannon was given an ultimatum to resign or be fired, the Star Tribune reported.

Gannon’s attorney, John Fabian, declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did Julie Fleming-Wolfe, an outside attorney representing the defendants.

Brooklyn Center was recently sued by Wright’s girlfriend for injuries she sustained while riding in the front seat during the shooting and subsequent crash. The city settled a lawsuit in June brought by Wright’s family for $3.25 million.

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Find full AP coverage of Daunte Wright’s death at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright

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