Former Police Officer Kim Potter Will Testify In Her Own Trial For The Killing Of Daunte Wright

Photo: Youtube / CBS / Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Daunte Wright, Kim Potter

Kim Potter, a former Minneapolis police officer accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, will be taking the stand during her manslaughter trial.

Potter’s attorney, Paul Engh, told a potential juror that the former officer will testify after the juror wrote in her questionnaire that she didn’t fully understand how the fatal shooting came about.

Potter's defense team is expected to argue that she did not intend to shoot Wright, mistaking her gun for a taser. It will be left to the jury to decide whether this was an honest mistake or negligence. 

How did Kim Potter kill Daunte Wright?

Potter shot Wright during a traffic stop in April after pulling him over for an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror and driving with an expired license plate.

Potter and her partner attempted to detain Wright after discovering that he had a warrant out for his arrest for not appearing in court for a previous charge.

The body-cam footage shows that after Wright was ordered out of the car, the officers tried to handcuff him.

As Wright tried to get back into his car, Potter could be heard shouting, “Taser!” before shooting Wright in the chest.

RELATED: Daunte Wright Didn’t Deserve To Be Killed By Minneapolis Police — #SayHisName

Potter can be later heard saying, “Holy s---, I just shot him,” as Wright gets back into his car and tries to drive away.

It had been less than a minute that elapsed from the moment Wright was asked to step out of the car to the moment that Potter fired her gun.

The bullet had passed through both of Wright’s lungs and his heart and he was pronounced dead at the scene minutes later.

The Brooklyn police chief, Tim Gannon, said he believed that Potter had meant to pull out her taser instead of her service weapon.

Potter claims that it was an innocent mistake when she shot Wright.

Both her and Gannon resigned in the aftermath of the incident.

Wright’s death sparked outcry all across the nation, which was only heightened at the fact that his death happened during Derek Chauvin’s trial.

Many people were quick to remember the painful memories of the civil unrest that erupted after George Floyd’s murder that took place during the summer of 2020.

Wright’s former teacher, Courtney Ross, who was also Floyd’s girlfriend, said Potter murdered Wright “with no thought.”

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"The fact that Kim Potter garnished a weapon for a routine traffic stop when the entire world was looking at racist cops under a microscope proved to me that Kim Potter was so brash and brazen that she murdered a Black man with no thought and she did that admittedly so," Ross said at a press conference.

Jury selection in Kim Potter's trial is ongoing.

Potter was charged with first and second degree manslaughter and could face a maximum sentencing of 15 years and 10 years from each charge.

Four people have already been selected to sit on the jury as the jury selection process is still underway.

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The seated jurors include a white man in his 50s, a white woman in her 60s, a white man in his 20s, and an Asian woman in her 40s.

Only two other Minnesota officers have been convicted for killing a civilian while on duty.

Mohammad Noor, a Black Somali officer was charged with manslaughter for killing Justine Damond, a white woman.

The second was Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd and was convicted on two murder charges and one second-degree manslaughter charge.

Officers mistakenly pulling their gun instead of their taser is rare but not unheard of.

In 2010, former police officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after fatally shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant, a Black man, at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, California.

During his trial, Mehserle said he had meant to pull out his taser.

Of course, like prior social justice trials including, Kyle Rittenhouse, the three men who killed Ahmaud Arbery, and Derek Chauvin, the entire world will be watching Potter’s trial to see if justice will actually be served in honor of Daunte Wright.

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother Reacts To Guilty Verdicts In Trial Of Her Son’s Murderers

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.