Jurors in the trial of former Minnesota officer Kim Potter saw video footage of her hysterical reaction to her mistakenly shooting Daunte Wright with a gun instead of a Taser Friday.
Body footage from Brooklyn Center, Minn., Sgt. Mychal Johnson showed a distraught Potter, 49, rocking back and forth while laying facedown on a lawn with her head in her hands and her feet in the street in the moments after she shot Wright dead during an April 11 traffic stop.
“Oh my God!” Potter was heard wailing repeatedly on the clip as Johnson kneeled down and tried to console her.
“Kim, take a breath. Kim, you’re OK,” he tells Potter. “Kim, that guy was trying to take off with me in the car.”
Johnson then takes her gun for evidence and gives her his weapon. He later took the gun back and removed its bullets before giving it back to her after another cop expressed concerns about Potter’s state of mind.
Wright, a 20-year-old black man, was pulled over by police over expired license plate tags. He struggled with cops after they discovered he had a warrant out for weapons possession.
Johnson testified that he was leaning into the car holding Wright’s arm with both hands as he prepared to handcuff the suspect. He dropped the suspect’s arm when he heard Potter warn she would use her Taser, he told the court. Potter had claimed she tried to stun the suspect but mistakenly grabbed her gun.
“Taser, Taser, Taser!,” Potter was heard shouting as she pointed her gun at Wright in bodycam video released by police.
She then fired a single round as an injured Wright drove off, crashing the car down the street.
“Holy s***! I just shot him!” she exclaimed, according to the footage.
Johnson testified that Potter made a mistake, but force was justified because he could have been dragged if Wright hit the gas.
“Kim, we’ll get it all figured out, OK,” he was seen telling Potter on his bodycam footage. as she leaned against a fence.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what happened,” she said through tears and heavy breathing.
The shooting happened just north of Minneapolis — while police officer Derek Chauvin was facing trial for George Floyd’s murder — and set off multiple nights of volatile protests.
Potter has pleaded not guilty to first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. She faces 11 years in prison if convicted of both charges.
With AP wires