A former Minnesota police officer took the stand on Friday and tearfully testified that she shot Daunte Wright — mistaking her gun for her Taser — as she feared for her fellow officer’s safety.
Ex-Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, 49, testified that “weapons confusion” was briefly mentioned during her training, but her department did not receive physical training on it. However, prosecutors said Potter was a seasoned police officer who had extensive training on Taser use and the use of deadly force, according to the Star Tribune.
Potter had been a police officer for 26 years and was training Officer Anthony Luckey at the time of the April 11 traffic stop that ended with Wright’s death. Wright, 20, was shot after allegedly attempting to drive away from officers trying to arrest him on a weapons possession warrant; Wright was in a physical struggle with Luckey — a rookie officer — when Potter shot him in the chest with her handgun, not her Taser.
Potter is charged with manslaughter in connection with Wright’s death. The defense rested their case following Potter’s testimony — which was paused for an hour after Hennepin County judge Regina Chu called for a lunch break because she started hysterically crying on the stand.
"You stopped doing your job completely … you were focused on what you had done because you had just killed somebody."
— Prosecutor cross-examining former MN police officer Kim Potter zeroes in on her decision not to seek medical aid after she shot Daunte Wright. pic.twitter.com/9UqMQNvb9D
— The Recount (@therecount) December 17, 2021
Potter resigned from the force days after the deadly shooting. She was arrested and charged for Wright’s death days later.
Prosecutor Erin Eldridge mentioned that Potter’s Taser was yellow and her gun was black. She also said the gun weighs more than the Taser.
Elridge also presented a photo showing Potter with her Taser on her left side, and her gun on her right. Elridge asked Potter if she knew her gun and Taser were different weights — to which the ex-officer said she “doesn’t know.”
Potter testified that she was issued the new Taser on March 26, days before the fatal April 11 shooting. She also claimed she never fired the weapon while on duty.
#BREAKING: "I remember yelling 'Taser! Taser! Taser!' and nothing happened and then he told me I shot him."#KimPotter breaks down on the stand describing what happened when she shot 20-year-old #DaunteWright after a traffic stop.
What do you think of her testimony? pic.twitter.com/J5AhwFpWHb
— Court TV (@CourtTV) December 17, 2021
“I would take my Taser out on rare occasions, but I don’t believe I ever deployed it,” she testified.
Potter said that she left Minnesota and got therapy since shooting Wright.
“There was so much bad things happening. … I didn’t want anything bad to happen to the city,” Potter testified, explaining why she resigned
Jurors will begin deliberations on Monday.
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[Featured image: Kim Potter/Hennepin County Court]