Dec. 17 (UPI) — Former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer Kim Potter testified Friday that the traffic stop in which she fatally shot Daunte Wright “just went chaotic.”
The 59-year-old testified in her own defense, detailing her actions on April 11. She broke into tears multiple times on the stand, at one point prompting the judge to call a brief recess.
Potter said she was training a fellow officer, Anthony Luckey, on the day of the shooting. She said they saw Wright make a turn in his vehicle using the wrong turn signal. He also had expired tags and an air freshener hanging in his rearview mirror, which is against the law in Minnesota.
She said if she had been on patrol by herself, she wouldn’t have pulled Wright over, but Luckey wanted to. When they checked Wright’s license, they saw he had an arrest warrant for a weapons violation. Potter testified that based on her experience, it could’ve meant Wright had a weapon on him at the time.
Luckey then attempted to arrest Wright, at which point the latter allegedly attempted to re-enter his vehicle. A third officer, former Sgt. Mychal Johnson, testified last week that at this time, he had partially entered the front passenger side of the vehicle to make sure the vehicle was turned off or out of gear so it wouldn’t move.
Potter said she saw fear on Johnson’s face like “nothing I’ve seen before.” It was at this point, she said, things “just went chaotic.”
“We were struggling. We were trying to keep him from driving away,” she said of Wright.
“I remember yelling, ‘Taser, Taser, Taser’ and nothing happened. And then he told me I shot him.”
Potter told the court she intended to use her stun gun on Wright, not her firearm.
“I’m sorry it happened. I’m so sorry,” she said, according to KMSP-TV in Minneapolis.
“I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”
Potter testified that she’s carried a stun gun since 2005 and had extensive training over her 26-year career as a police officer, KSTP-TV in Minneapolis reported. She resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department after the shooting.
Potter faces one count each of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter for shooting Wright to death. The defense rested its case Friday and closing arguments were scheduled to begin Monday.