Potter Trial Turns to Defense

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The state rested its case Thursday; the defense called on six witnesses.

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Feven Gerezgiher reports:

The state rested its case in the trial of former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter on Thursday. The defense proceeded to present its first 6 witnesses.

Former police chief Timothy Gannon testified that Potter was justified in her use of force.

“When I viewed both camera angles and had all the data in front of me, I saw no violation,” said Gannon.

“Violation of what?” asked defense attorney Paul Engh.

“Of policy, procedure or law,” replied Gannon.

Gannon resigned after 27 years with the Brooklyn Center police force. He cited political pressure to fire Potter, who he testified is a long-time friend and colleague he admires. He said Potter was one of few senior officers willing to be a field training officer.

Policing expert Stephen Ijames said Potter was justified under the alternative taser policy he wrote for an international association. He said Potter could only judge public safety risks based on the arrest warrant she had on hand.

“Police aren’t clairvoyant. The best indicator of what happened tomorrow is what happened yesterday,” he said.

Prosecutor Matthew Frank challenged Ijames’ familiarity with the more restrictive Minnesota and Brooklyn Center policies that Potter would have been subject to.

“Did you review Brooklyn Center Police Department policy about shooting into motor vehicles?” asked Frank.

“I don’t recall,” said Ijames.

“So you’re not familiar with the policy that Ms. Potter would have been subject to as a Brooklyn Center officer?” demanded Frank.

“I’m just saying I don’t recall, sir,” said Ijames.

The jury also heard witness testimony to Potter’s character.

Brooklyn Center police officer Samuel Smith II said Potter is a calming force.

“She is well-respected, and very peaceful, and very professional from my experience working with her,” he said.

The defense said it anticipates presenting two more witnesses on Friday.

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