Ex-police chief sues over job loss over Daunte Wright murder

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BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (TBEN) — A former Minneapolis suburban police chief claims he was forced to resign for refusing to immediately fire the officer who shot 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 confused her gun with her taser when she fatally shot Wright, who was black. She was convicted in December of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.

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The shooting took place 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, alleges in his lawsuit that false, malicious, defamatory and racially divisive remarks by Brooklyn Center City Council member Marquita Butler implied that his actions in response to protests over Wright’s death were killing the black population of Brooklyn Center did not serve. Gannon is suing Butler, the city, and its city manager, Reggie Edwards, for more than $50,000 in damages.

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According to the lawsuit, 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 counsel appointed to represent the defendants.

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

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

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