JURORS were shown never-before-seen video of the shooting of Daunte Wright by former Minnesota police officer Kimberly Potter on Wednesday, showing the cop yelling she “grabbed the wrong” gun.
During their opening statements in the manslaughter trial of Potter, the prosecution played a video of the lethal April encounter showing Potter firing her gun instead of her taser.
Jurors were shown new video of Potter shooting and killing Wright[/caption]
Potter was seen on video dropping to the floor after shooting Wright[/caption]
“S–t, I just shot him,” Potter is heard saying on camera. “I grabbed the wrong f–king gun. I shot him.”
Potter, a former Brooklyn Center cop, is then seen on video putting her hands to her head and falling to the ground.
Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge told jurors that officers take an oath “to protect life, not to take life.”
“There is no do-over when you take a young man’s life,” Eldridge said.
“We trust them to know wrong from right, and left from right,” Eldridge said, referring to officers holding tasers and guns to opposite sides of their bodies.
Potter’s attorney, Paul Engh, said the shooting never would have happened if Wright complied.
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All Wright “had to do was surrender,” Engh said. “All he has to do is stop and he’d be with us.”
Engh argued that Potter was attempting to use her taser on Wright to protect her partner Sergeant Mychal Johnson, who was in Wright’s car and would have gotten hurt should Wright have driven off.
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“She realizes what has happened much to her everlasting and unending regret,” Engh said of Potter’s reactions after the shooting.
“She made a mistake. This was an accident. She is a human being, but she had to do what she had to do to prevent a death to a fellow officer, too.”
Engh added that Potter had a “good name has been besmirched by this allegation, which is not true, and by the press coverage, which has been slanted. We seek to reclaim it and reclaim it we will.”
WHAT IS POTTER CHARGED WITH?
The trial is being held in the same courtroom where another ex-cop was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd.
Potter faces first and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Potter was arrested and freed the same day of her arrest after posting a $100,000 bond.
The maximum sentence for a second-degree manslaughter charge is a 10-year jail sentence and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota statutes.
The former cop joined the police force in Minnesota in 1995, at the age of 22.
WHAT HAPPENED TO DAUNTE WRIGHT?
Wright was shot just ten miles from where Floyd was killed last summer, leading to an outpouring of anger from the community.
Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation shortly before 2pm on April 11 by Brooklyn Center police officers.
Police said when they tried to arrest the driver, who they determined had an outstanding warrant, he got back in his vehicle.
Bodycam footage from the fatal shooting reveals the moment Potter accidentally shot Wright while trying to use a Taser.
“One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver,” police said. “The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking into another vehicle.”
Cops said the officer who fired the fatal shot intended to use a Taser, not a handgun.
Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as an “accidental discharge.”