Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter broke down in tears Friday while testifying in her manslaughter trial for the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.
Potter, 49, fatally shot 20-year-old Wright after he attempted to flee officers during a traffic stop in April in Brooklyn Center.
“Did you see anything when you saw this?” Potter was asked. “What did you do?”
“We were struggling, we were trying to keep him from driving away, it just went chaotic, and then I remember yelling ‘taser, taser, taser’ and nothing happened,” Potter recounted as she began to cry. “And then he told me I shot him.”
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Bodycam footage from Brooklyn Center Sgt. Mychal Johnson showed a distraught Potter screaming “Oh my God!” after she realized she shot Wright. “Holy sh*t! I just shot him!”
Johnson could be heard trying to console Potter.
“Kim, that guy was trying to take off with me in the car.” (RELATED: ‘When The People Get Fed Up … We Loot Y’all Franchises’: Brooklyn Center Residents React To Civil Unrest)
Johnson testified he could have been dragged by Wright had Wright hit the gas, according to the New York Post. Footage from the incident showed Wright broke free from police officers who pulled his hands behind his back while trying to arrest him. Wright then jumped in the driver’s seat of his car and put the car in gear.
Stephen Ijames, a veteran Missouri police officer, also testified that Potter was justified in using force – whether it be the taser or the gun, according to the Star Tribune. Ijames testified the officers were likely hyper vigilant after learning Wright had a warrant for his arrest.
“The very nature of flight and resistance brings with it danger to people in the path,” Ijames reportedly testified, noting it would have been a “dereliction of duty” to allow Wright to flee.
University of South Carolina School of Law Seth Stoughton testified Potter acted in an “excessive and inappropriate” manner, according to CNN.
“The use of deadly force was not appropriate and the evidence suggests that a reasonable officer in Officer Potter’s position could not have believed it was proportional to the threat at the time.”
Stroughton added deadly force would have been proportional but “inappropriate because of the proximity of two other officers and the passenger,” according to the report.