Jury Hears First Day of Testimony in Kim Potter Trial

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The prosecution and the defense laid out their arguments. The jury also heard from Daunte Wright's mother and another officer on the scene.


Feven Gerezgiher reports:

On Wednesday a jury heard opening statements in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Potter claims she meant to reach for her taser in the traffic stop that led to the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge said Potter had the training to know the difference between a gun and a taser.

“We trust them to know wrong from right, and left from right,” said Eldridge. “This case is about an officer who knew not to get it dead wrong, but she failed to get it right.”

Eldridge told jurors Potter was trained to not use a taser, let alone a gun, on someone in a vehicle. Eldridge said Potter’s actions put other people’s lives at risk, including her fellow officers.

Defense attorney Paul Engh countered that grabbing the gun was a matter of human error.

“Over the course of 26 years, she never fired a gun. She never fired one shot. She never fired her taser. She never had to,” said Engh.

In the afternoon, jury heard from Wright’s mother Katie Bryant who gave an emotional testimony to Wright’s character and close relationship to his family. She recounted her last conversation with her son, who called her from the traffic stop.

“He sounded really nervous but I reassured him that it would be okay,” she said through tears.

Jurors viewed the incident from multiple angles, including a body camera on Brooklyn Center officer Anthony Luckey. Luckey, who was a new hire doing field training with Potter, explained he initially pulled Wright over for minor violations.

Outside the courtroom, supporters offered prayer, protest, and candlelight in solidarity with the Wright family.

For the Racial Reckoning project, I’m Feven Gerezgiher.

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