State Watch

Attorney says ex-officer will testify at trial in Daunte Wright killing

Associated Press/Morry Gash

A former Minneapolis police officer will testify during her trial after she fatally shot Daunte Wright, a Black motorist, during a traffic stop in April.

Paul Engh, Kim Potter’s attorney, confirmed that the 26-year Brooklyn Center Police Department veteran would take the stand. This decision came after a potential juror said she did not fully understand the circumstances that led to the shooting, NBC News reported.

“Let me tell you, that if you’re selected, Officer Potter will testify and tell you what she remembered what happened,” Engh said, per NBC.

“So you will know, not just from the video, but from the officers at the scene and Officer Potter herself what was occurring. I think it should quite interesting in hearing what she has to say,” he added.

The former officer faces charges including first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.

Wright was initially stopped on April 11 because he had an air freshener hanging from his car’s rearview mirror. Minnesota prohibits drivers from hanging items from rearview mirrors, according to The Associated Press.

He was also stopped for the car’s expired license plate before officers found he had an arrest warrant for a weapons violation, NBC reported.

Wright was told to get out of the car, and body camera footage showed he attempted to reenter the vehicle as officers tried to handcuff him. 

A female voice then shouted, “Taser!” before Wright was shot. 

Then-Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of a Taser. Both Gannon and Potter resigned after the shooting, according to NBC. 

Opening statements for the trial are set to begin on Dec. 8. 

The Hill has reached out to Engh and to the office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, which is leading the prosecution, for comment. 

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