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Trial of Kim Potter (Daunte Wright Shooting)

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Daunte Wright: Manslaughter trial of ex-police officer begins

Body Cam Footage, Daunte Wright Shooting.

Opening statements have begun in the trial of a former Minnesota police officer who shot and killed a black motorist in April.

Kim Potter, 49, has said she mistakenly drew her gun instead of her Taser and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Ms Potter now faces first- and second-degree manslaughter charges for his death. Her defence team claims he was resisting arrest at the time.

Mr Wright's death sparked protests and clashes with police.

According to police officials, Mr Wright was pulled over for an expired tag on his car's licence plate when he was driving in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb. His family, however, has suggested that he was being racially profiled when police stopped him.

Body cam footage released after the incident shows Mr Wright attempting to flee from police after they told him he faced arrest for an outstanding warrant. He had missed a court date for two earlier misdemeanour charges.

Ms Potter can be heard repeating the word "Taser" several times before firing a shot from her pistol.

In court on Monday, Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge argued that Ms Potter - a 26-year veteran of the department - should have known the difference between a pistol and a Taser.

The loaded pistol weight more than twice that of the Taser, Ms Eldridge said, adding that prosecutors believe Ms Potter failed to live up to her sworn duty as a police officer.

"This case is about an officer who knew not to get it dead wrong," Ms Eldridge said. "But she failed to get it right."

The case is about Ms Potter's alleged "recklessness and negligence" she said.

"Evidence will show she flouted her training and flouted [department] policy," Ms Eldridge told the jury.

The former police officer's lawyer Paul Engh argued that Mr Wright's actions led to the incident, which the defence has argued was an accident, not a crime.

"All he had to do was surrender, but that wasn't his plan," Mr Engh said. "He continued on with the struggle".

Ms Potter sought to tase Mr Wright because she feared "he was going to kill her partner" the lawyer said.

"This is an accident. She is a human being," he said. "But she had to do what she had to do to prevent the death of a fellow officer."

Under Minnesota state law, a person can be found guilty of second-degree manslaughter if it is proven that they demonstrated negligence by creating unreasonable risk and "consciously take chances of causing death or great bodily harm" to another person.

Mr Wright's death on 11 April 2021 came amid already heightened tensions in the Minneapolis area during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer later convicted of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

Opening statements & first witnesses give testimony today.

WATCH LIVE: Trial of Kim Potter, ex-officer who killed Daunte Wright — Day 1

The media initially reported Mr Wright may have been stopped because of an illegal Magic Tree hanging from his rear view mirror (and possibly driving whilst black).

Daunte Wright shooting: How air fresheners became ‘pretext’ for police to stop Black drivers

The defence argument will be....(I believe)

Mr Wright was in fact stopped because officer Anthony Luckey (driving) had noticed Wright's vehicle indicating the wrong way in the wrong lane, they continued to drive behind him, then noticed his air freshener, so he then ran the license plate & found it was expired.

Mr Wright stopped his vehicle, wound down his window to speak to Officer, Luckey who then noticed the smell of cannabis.

Mr Wright was compliant, giving his name, when his name was checked he had no driving licence & a warrant out for his arrest. (Wanted for gross misdemeanour weapons violation)

When Mr Wright resisted arrest, re entering his vehicle, the police had no choice but to continue attempting to detain him.

Officer Johnson claims he had opened the passenger side door, leant into the vehicle & held onto the gear lever so Wright couldn't drive away.....(This is potentially a very crucial point in defence)


Officer Johnson was now partly inside the vehicle.  Had Wright continued to resist arrest & managed to drive away,
Officer Johnson would likely have been dragged by the vehicle.

So, now there is the situation that it could be argued defendant Officer Potter had little choice but to Taser him to protect Officer Johnson at that moment.

As it happens, in that situation (imminent threat of officer being dragged to death) lethal force, although unintentional, could potentially be justifiable!


Kim Potter in her 26 year career had never fired her gun or taser whilst on active duty.
(From the defence opening today)

Potter had never been disciplined in her 26-year career and only once recieved a verbal reprimand in 2007 for writing about squirrels while on an anti-robbery detail.

Legal Analysis Of Day One.

Judge Declines to Define Law & Defense



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