Kim Potter trial continued as Potter took the stand

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In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter becomes emotional as she testifies in court, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Potter is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, following a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)
In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter becomes emotional as she testifies in court, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Potter is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, following a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

All eyes are now on Kim Potter as the former suburban Minneapolis police officer testified in her defense Friday.

Facts

Kim Potter is 49 and boasted 26 years of experience as a police officer.

Potter says she mistook her handgun for her Taser when she shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. She and other officers, including a trainee, attempted to arrest Wright when he tried to get back into his vehicle, video shows.

Potter is charged with first-and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Wright’s death. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious count. 

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Prosecutor Erin Eldridge is cross-examining Kim Potter. She is also under questioning from defense attorney Earl Gray.

Kim Potter was hired at Brooklyn Center Police Department in 1995 and was sworn in on Feb. 27. She had served as a police explorer advisor, field training officer, a crisis negotiator, a member of the Law Enforcement Memorial Association honor guard, along with “a lot of crime prevention work.”

Details

On Friday, Kim Potter started her questioning under defense attorney Earl Gray. Kim Potter says she did attend all training sessions required by Brooklyn Center Police Department. 

“We spend a lot more time on firearms [training] than we did on Tasers,” Potter says.

Potter also testified that Tasers did not come into being until 2002 or 2003 – about seven or eight years after she was sworn in. She agrees that the Taser she had at the time of the Daunte Wright shooting was ‘shaped like a gun.’

Gary reiterated the question, “With respect to weapons confusion, was there ever any training – any actual training – about weapons confusion as you remember it?”

Potter answered the question as, “No.”

During the testimony on Friday, Potter said she heard officer Luckey ask the driver to step out of the vehicle, to which the driver finally did. Potter said she believes Johnson told the driver first that he was under arrest, and she remembers officer Luckey telling the driver he was under arrest. Potter had then alerted the driver he had a warrant.

Potter stated while Officer Luckey put the driver’s hands behind his back when she noticed he was holding something. Potter then removed the item from the driver’s hand. 

She had said Johnson, who she had known for years, “had a look of fear on his face.” “it’s nothing that I had seen before.” 

During Potter’s time on the stand, she was visibly distraught, apologizing multiple times for what happened, saying, “I’m sorry it happened, I’m so sorry.”  

Before the jury was out, the defense questioned Kim Potter on her weapon use and if she had ever shot her gun during her career. To which she said, no. Kim Potter also stated she had never fired her TTaser at someone either.

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