Former Officer Kimberly Potter Breaks Down on Stand in Trial over Daunte Wright Killing


Ex-Brooklyn Heights Police officer Kimberly Potter broke down in tears on the witness stand twice Friday, as she testified about her alleged fatal shooting of Daunte Wright more than eight months ago.

“Officer Lucky started to say something about ‘don’t do that, don’t tense up, stop doing that'” Potter said, describing the moments leading up to the shooting. “And then it just went chaotic.”

She was being questioned by her defense high-profile attorney Earl Gray, who also represented one of the police officers charged in the arrest of George Floyd, which resulted in Floyd’s death.

“I remember a struggle with Officer Lucky and the driver at the door, um, the driver was trying to get back in the car… I went around Officer Lucky as they were trying to get back in between the door and Officer Lucky, and the driver’s getting into the car. They’re still struggling and I can see Sergeant Johnson and the driver struggling over the gear shift because I can see Johnson’s hand and then I can see his face.”

Potter then became visibly emotional.

“[Johnson] had a look of fear on his face. It’s nothing I’d seen before. We were struggling. We were trying to keep him from driving away. It just… it just went chaotic. And then I remember yelling ‘Taser, Taser, Tazer,’ and nothing happened and then he told me I shot him,” she said, bursting into tears.

Potter contends that she accidentally fired her service pistol instead of her Tazer.

Wright attempted to flee the scene after police tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.

Shortly thereafter Potter’s attorney finished questioning her.

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge then questioned Potter, with much of her focus centering around Potter’s training and her status as a training officer within the police department. Potter was training a new officer when the shooting occurred.

Eventually, Eldridge questioned Potter about the shooting, and again Potter broke down. During her line of questioning, Eldridge played the body camera footage of Potter yelling “Tazer, Tazer, Tazer,” in which the Potter can clearly be seen pointing her service pistol, not her Tazer, at Wright.

Potter struggled to look at the video, and again began crying.

She confirmed through tears that the gun was in her right hand, and that she was pointing it at Wright.

Gray asked to break for lunch.

When the trial resumed, Potter was still emotional.

“After you shot Daunte Wright, you said ‘Sh*t, I just shot him. I grabbed the wrong f*cking gun and I shot him. I’m going to go to prison. I killed a boy.’ You said all those things, right?” Eldridge asked.

Potter said she didn’t remember.

The prosecutor then asked a series of questions about what Potter did immediately after the shooting, claiming that she “stopped doing [her] job completely.”

“I’m sorry it happened,” Potter said, sobbing. “I’m so sorry… I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”

Potter is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death. She faces up to 15 years in prison.

Jury instructions will be given Monday.

Watch Friday’s testimony here:

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].





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