Potter’s testimony comes after a week of trial proceedings which have included testimony from Wright’s mother and father, Katie Bryant and Aubrey Wright, police use of experts, Daunte’s girlfriend, among others.
The prosecution rested its case earlier this week. Defense attorneys attempted to bring in Daunte Wright’s prior criminal background, which was originally blocked by Judge Regina Chu who told Potter’s lawyers it wasn’t admissible because Potter wouldn’t have known the 20-year-old’s alleged criminal history at the time of the fatal traffic stop.
Potter has pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Potter Breaks Down on The Stand
Potter recalled on the stand the moment she realized she had shot the 20-year-old father.
The former cop said Anthony Luckey, the police trainee she was working with at the time, had a struggle with Wright outside his vehicle.
Another officer, Sgt. Mychal Johnson also struggled with Wright and he “had a look of fear on his face; it’s nothing I’d seen before,” Potter said.
“And then I remember yelling, ‘Taser, Taser, Taser,’ and nothing happened, and then he told me I shot him,” Potter said, crying and covering her face.
She said she doesn’t remember what she said after the shooting or what she said at the police station.
According to Potter, it was Luckey who initiated the traffic stop over expired tags and air freshener hanging from Wright’s rearview mirror.
Potter Says She Never Used Taser Before April 11, 2021
Potter told jurors she never deployed her taser throughout her more than two-decade career.
“I would take my taser out on rare occasions, but I don’t believe I ever deployed it.
While on the stand, Potter testified to her 26-year history with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, the training she received –– and didn’t.
Potter, who claims she mistakenly grabbed her gun during the fatal April traffic stop –– claims she never received training on weapons confusion.
When her defensed attorneys asked her if any of her taser training including weapons confusion, she replied: “It would be mentioned in training, but it wasn’t something we physically trained on.”
In cross-examination, state prosecutor Erin Eldridge pressed Potter on the claims, additional details about the training she received, specifically use of force, and went through a detailed overview of the functions of a taser, comparing it to a firearm –– from color, shape, and weight.
Prosecutors also noted that Potter had re-certified on using a taser in March 2021 –– one month before the fatal shooting.
Potter Explains Why She Resigned Two Days after the Shooting
“There was so much bad things happening, I didn’t want my coworkers –– I didn’t want anything bad to happen to the city,” Potter said from the stand.
The 49-year-old along with former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned from their roles in the wake of the shooting.
Prosecutors Ask Potter Why She ‘Stopped Doing Her Job’ After the Shooting
Cross-examination resumed after a brief lunch break. Before the lunch break, state prosecutors walked the defendant through the graphic body camera footage of the shooting, frame by frame.
The slowed down footage shows Potter exchanging a piece of paper from her right to left hand, and the moment she grabbed her gun instead of the taser. The court went on break for lunch after she got emotional on the stand.
After the break, state prosecutors continued their questioning, reminding Potter of her 26 years of police training and asked her why she didn’t check on fellow officers after the shooting–– if as her defense attorneys argued –– she had used deadly force to prevent the driver from taking off.
The body camera footage shows the other officers disengaging from Wright after Potter yelled “Taser” three times. After she fatally wounded Wright, she “stopped doing her job,” prosecutors said, which she agreed included making split-second decisions in stressful situations.
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