Officer Who Fatally Shot Daunte Wright With ‘Accidental Discharge’ Is Identified

The police officer said to have fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man killed in what started as a traffic stop on Sunday, has been identified as Kim Potter.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in a statement on Monday evening described Potter as a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center, Minn., Police Department, now on administrative leave.

The department offered no other details about Potter’s career, saying, “Further personnel data are not public from the BCA under Minnesota law during an active investigation.​”

However, a report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office dated Aug. 5, 2020, indicates that at the time Potter also served as the Brooklyn Center Police Union president.

Police officials called Wright’s death the result of an “accidental discharge” of a gun by a police officer.

Officer Who Fatally Shot Daunte Wright With ‘Accidental Discharge’ Is Identified, Becky Sullivan and Vanessa Romo

OPINION: To Lessen Police Violence, Remove Cops From Traffic Stops

The largest predictor of police violence in America is not poor training, lack of discipline, or militarization. The largest predictor is simply contact with the police — and the most common contact Americans have with police is traffic stops. There are at least 20 million traffic stops per year in the United States. Racial bias pervades traffic enforcement, enabled by its largely discretionary nature; there are more drivers speeding and violating other traffic laws than police have the capacity to pull over and ticket, so who are police disproportionately targeting? People of color.

To Lessen Police Violence, Remove Cops From Traffic Stops, Alessandra Biaggi

Inside 100 million police traffic stops: New evidence of racial bias

Now, Stanford University researchers have compiled the most comprehensive evidence to date suggesting there is a pattern of racial disparities in traffic stops. The researchers provided NBC News with the traffic-stop data — the largest such dataset ever collected — which points to pervasive inequality in how police decide to stop and search white and minority drivers.

Using information obtained through public record requests, the Stanford Open Policing Project examined almost 100 million traffic stops conducted from 2011 to 2017 across 21 state patrol agencies, including California, Illinois, New York and Texas, and 29 municipal police departments, including New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Inside 100 million police traffic stops: New evidence of racial bias, Erik Ortiz

Stanford Open Policing Project

A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States

We assessed racial disparities in policing in the United States by compiling and analysing a dataset detailing nearly 100 million traffic stops conducted across the country. We found that black drivers were less likely to be stopped after sunset, when a ‘veil of darkness’ masks one’s race, suggesting bias in stop decisions. Furthermore, by examining the rate at which stopped drivers were searched and the likelihood that searches turned up contraband, we found evidence that the bar for searching black and Hispanic drivers was lower than that for searching white drivers. Finally, we found that legalization of recreational marijuana reduced the number of searches of white, black and Hispanic drivers—but the bar for searching black and Hispanic drivers was still lower than that for white drivers post-legalization. Our results indicate that police stops and search decisions suffer from persistent racial bias and point to the value of policy interventions to mitigate these disparities.

A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States

Policing, Danger Narratives, and Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods

This Article presents findings from the largest and most comprehensive study to date on violence against the police during traffic stops. Every year, police officers conduct tens of millions of traffic stops. Many of these stops are entirely unremarkable—so much so that they may be fairly described as routine. Nonetheless, the narrative that routine traffic stops are fraught with grave and unpredictable danger to the police permeates police training and animates Fourth Amendment doctrine. This Article challenges this dominant danger narrative and its centrality within key institutions that regulate the police.

The presented study is the first to offer an estimate for the danger rates of routine traffic stops to law enforcement officers. I reviewed a comprehensive dataset of thousands of traffic stops that resulted in violence against officers across more than 200 law enforcement agencies in Florida over a 10-year period. The findings reveal that violence against officers was rare and that incidents that do involve violence are typically low risk and do not involve weapons. Under a conservative estimate, the rate for a felonious killing of an officer during a routine traffic stop was only 1 in every 6 .5 million stops, the rate for an assault resulting in serious injury to an officer was only 1 in every 361,111 stops, and the rate for an assault against officers (whether it results in injury or not) was only 1 in every 6,959 stops.

Policing, Danger Narratives, and Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods

Berkeley Moves Closer to Ending Police Traffic Stops

What Traffic Enforcement Without Police Could Look Like

We Don’t Need Cops to Enforce Traffic Laws