Kim Potter, the ex-cop who shot Duante Wright, breaks testimony

Former Brooklyn police officer Kim Potter became emotional as she testified in court (Image: AP)

The former police officer who shot dead Duante Wright collapsed in the witness stand, telling prosecutors she had no intention of using deadly force: ‘I don’t want to hurt anyone.’

The defense took a break from the trial of Potter, who was charged with manslaughter in Wright’s death during an April 11 traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Downtown Brooklyn.

On Friday, she told prosecutors in tears that she had become ‘very distressed’ following the shooting death of the 20-year-old, and repeatedly said that the events unfolded were foggy.

“I just shot someone, I’ve never done that,” said the 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Central Police Department.

Potter has said that she wants to use her Taser to subdue Wright as he retreats from the officers. Wright was back in his car when they tried to arrest him on warrant for a weapons violation.

She described stopping the car as a struggle, saying it ‘just turned into chaos’, after Wright got back into his car and tried to drive away.

‘We worked very hard. We tried to keep him from driving away,’ she said.

Potter described the look of fear she saw on another officer’s face in the moments before she fired her gun instead of her Taser.

“I remember screaming, Taser, Taser, Taser, and nothing happened, and then he (Wright) told me I shot him,” Potter said through tears.

Video of the officers’ body camera footage shows Potter shouting ‘I’ll tease you!’ and ‘Taser, Taser, Taser,’ before she fired once.

Potter’s attorneys argued that she made a mistake but also had the right to use deadly force if she did it on purpose because another officer was at risk of being towed by Wright’s vehicle.

However, prosecutors said that Potter was an experienced officer with extensive training in Taser use and the use of deadly force, and her actions were indefensible.

Potter testified she had no training in ‘weapon confusion’, saying it was something mentioned during training but not something they were physically trained for.

The former police officer, who quit his job two days after the shooting, also said he never used his Taser on duty during his 26 years with the force. She was arrested the next day.

On the day of the shooting Potter was training another officer, Anthony Luckey, who noticed that Wright’s car had improper turn signals on. The two talked about suspicious activity and brought him in because the air freshener and card expired.

Potter said Luckey wanted to stop the car, although she ‘most likely’ wouldn’t do so if she was on patrol alone, because of lengthy delays for drivers in Minnesota to renew their pass at during the coronavirus pandemic.

They later found out that Wright had a firearms violation order, she said, and they were then asked to arrest him because the order ‘is a court order.’

Wright’s death sparked days of angry protests in Downtown Brooklyn. His death occurred while white police officer Derek Chauvin was on trial in nearby Minneapolis for the murder of George Floyd.

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Huynh Nguyen

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