Kim Potter Trial: Former Supervisor Proves She Was Justified Using Deadly Force – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Snow began to fall shortly after noon in downtown Minneapolis. Because of the weather, the judge presiding over Kim Potter’s trial concluded his testimony early Friday.

Potter was charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April.

READ MORE: Kim Potter Trial, December 9: Newly released full-body camera shows aftermath of shooting

Body-worn camera video of a surveillance sergeant at the scene of the traffic stop shows the moments before and after the shooting. It was footage that the public had never seen or heard of before.

Sgt. Mychal Johnson says that Potter used deadly force to save his life.

“Dante you’re under arrest,” Johnson said, in the video.

Johnson’s words began an attempt by Wright to flee.

Body-worn camera footage shows different angles of the incident as Johnson, inside the passenger side of the car, leans over the female passenger to touch the gear lever to make sure the car is in the parking lot.

When Wright returned to the car, the video showed his struggles with Potter and officer Anthony Luckey.

Johnson grabbed Wright’s hand to try to prepare him to be handcuffed. That was when he heard the order given by Potter.

“I will Taser you, I will Taser you… Taser! Electric gun! Tasers!” said Potter.

“I let go of his right arm… I didn’t know where those Taser probes were going, and I didn’t want to have my hand in the middle of them,” Johnson said.

Johnson says he didn’t know Potter shot Wright until she admitted she did.

Potter’s reaction after she fires her weapon rather than her Taser is central to the video.

“Oh my God, what have I done,” said Potter.

Johnson could be seen and heard trying to reassure Potter.

She was distraught. At one point, you can hear her say, “Let me kill myself.”

Johnson took Potter’s weapon, holstered it, and gave her his weapon to put in her holster.

Concern from an officer about her state of mind led Johnson to return to Potter to remove the bullet from the weapon he had given her.

“Kim, you see, I’m giving you the gun real quick, I’ll give it back right away,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he doesn’t remember what he said to comfort Potter, but it was captured on camera.

“Kim, that guy was trying to land with me in the car,” Johnson said.

Prosecutor Matthew Frank countered by requiring officers to be aware of their surroundings before firing a weapon, citing how close Johnson, Potter and the occupants were to each other.

The trial continues on Monday at 9 a.m

(WCCO ​​/ AP) – Testimony enters the third day in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who was charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.

After a day of new body camera footage from the day of the incident and convincing testimony from passengers in Wright’s car, the state is calling more witnesses to the stands.

Here are the updates, starting with the latest.


UPDATE (2:37 pm) – The afternoon’s testimony began with Acting Brooklyn Police Chief Tony Gruenig, who was questioned primarily about standard procedures and procedures for shootings involving officers.

The next witness to be called into the stands was Special Agent Mike Phill of the Minnesota Department of Criminal Investigation.

Credit: CBS

Phill was in charge of the BCA’s use of force unit and was the first agent to arrive at the scene of the shooting. During his interrogation, the defense objected several times, citing “right speech.” Chu tells Phill not to describe information he hears from others.

Phill explained that he was at the scene until after 7 p.m., and agents took Wright’s car back to BCA headquarters in St. Paul. He described the evidence the BCA had gathered, including forensic evidence on the firearm and evidence from the autopsy.

The defense did not reexamine Phill, and the court adjourned for the day due to a upcoming blizzard. Testing will start again on Monday at 9am

UPDATE (12:25 pm) – Defense begins cross-examination of Officer Mychal Johnson. Attorney Earl Gray asked Johnson about Wright’s arrest.

“He continued to resist, didn’t he?” Gray asked, and Johnson agreed. He asked an officer what to do when someone was resisting. Johnson said an officer must “contain them” and if they try to flee, “use force”.

READ MORE: Kim Potter Trial, December 8: New Body Cam footage shown in court; Daunte Wright’s mother testifies

Gray asked if Wright would give up on the arrest at any time, and Johnson said no, he didn’t. In fact, Johnson testified that Potter was proven to use deadly force at the time.

Frank, when trying to re-direct Johnson, asks “Did Officer Potter, using a gun, shoot him?” Johnson said it “could be.” The defense group protested at this point and Zhou maintained. Prosecution requires a sidebar.

“I don’t know what she was thinking at the time,” Johnson said of the moment Potter grabbed the Glock instead of the Taser.

Attorneys Frank and Gray went back and forth several times, asking more questions of Johnson. Gray asked about hollow point bullets and if the police would use them as they would only travel far. Johnson agrees. Gray asks if a car is a weapon. “Yes,” Johnson said.

With the second redirect, Frank asked if hollow point bullets could affect the damage inside the person they hit. Johnson agreed, and again subject Gray.

Gray’s final cross-examination involved him asking if Wright’s car was moving when Potter shot him. Johnson says that’s not the case.

As the jury exited the courtroom for a lunch break, Chu asked if the prosecution team was aware of the defense’s objection to the autopsy photos intended as evidence. The problem can be resolved during the lunch break. The court is expected to resume at 1:30 p.m., unless Zhou decides the weather is a sufficient factor to require an early conclusion of the proceedings on Friday.

UPDATE (11:25 am) – The prosecution opened a day with the testimony of Major Mychal Johnson, who was a patrol supervisor on the day of the shooting. He left the Brooklyn Central Police Department in October 2021 and is currently employed by the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson was Potter’s supervisor on April 11, and said he arrived at the scene after Officers Luckey and Potter passed Daunte Wright’s car. After talking with Luckey, he learned that Wright had a misdemeanor warrant for weapons possession and determined that Luckey would arrest Wright.

Credit: CBS

Throughout the testimony, Attorney Matthew Frank showed dashcam footage and Johnson’s team vehicle, beginning with the moment Johnson arrived on the scene.

Johnson explained that he approached Wright’s car with two other officers. He sided with the passenger and opened the door to ensure that the car was in the “parked” position.

He said Luckey told Wright to get out of the car, which he did, but that Wright eventually got back into the car after learning he was arrested. Johnson reached over to grab Wright’s arm, heard the command “Taser Taser Taser,” then said he “heard a loud pop,” which he believed at the time to be Taser’s pop.

He learns that Potter shot her after Wright drove away and Potter said she shot him. Later, realizing he would be an “officer involved” in the shooting, called for support and another supervisor to take over the scene.

In the filming video, Potter asks Johnson to “phone Chuck,” who, according to Johnson, is a representative of Potter’s union. Defenders objected to the discussion of Potter’s union membership, arguing that it was irrelevant. After a brief argument, Judge Chu ruled that Potter’s union status was irrelevant, and ordered the jury to ignore any testimony about it.

Frank then went on to play Johnson’s body camera video, in which Potter could be heard saying “let me kill myself”.

Johnson said he told another officer to stay with Potter, and explained that he had taken the bullet out of his gun and exchanged it for Potter’s. The gun Potter used remained in Johnson’s holster until it was taken as evidence by the Minnesota Department of Criminal Investigation.

Then Chu decided to take a mid-morning break. After the jury left the room, she told the prosecution she would begin to regularly maintain objections ranging from defense to accumulating video evidence.

UPDATE (8:15 am) – The pool reporter in court on Friday confirmed that prosecutors will include Daunte Wright’s autopsy photos as evidence, which will appear in court when lawyers question the medical examiner. .

The photographs will be shown in the courtroom but will not be transmitted or published out there.

UPDATE (6am) – The first week of testimony in Kim Potter’s trial will end on Friday after jurors saw plenty of bodycam footage of what happened after the shooting.

After the jury walked out, the defense asked the judge for a first instance hearing. They said most of the evidence presented had nothing to do with the case against former Brooklyn Central Police Officer Kim Potter.

Prosecutor Matthew Frank indicated that the state is seeking an aggravating sentence for Potter if she is found guilty, and to do so must show the broader impact of her actions. Judge Regina Chu quickly dismissed the motion, though she told prosecutors to avoid showing the jury duplicate autopsy photos.

Frank, the prosecutor, said the evidence following the shooting was intended to show that Potter’s actions posed a danger to people other than Wright – something the state will have to prove as it seeks a longer sentence. Potter compared to the sentence given under state guidelines.

Chu ruled that the state must remove duplicate autopsy photos and that any image of Wright with his eyes open must be blacked out above his nose.

“The jury must not decide this case based on empathy, passion or anything like that,” she said.

Before that, we first heard from the woman in the passenger seat when Daunte Wright was pulled over and shot by police officer Alayna Albrecht-Payton.

“He crossed his arms and was just gasping for air,” she testified. “I repeat that image in my head every day.”

Albrecht-Payton also apologized to Katie Bryant, Wright’s mother, who called into his phone to try to re-establish contact after calls with him were cut shortly before he was shot. Earlier in the day, Bryant tearfully testified that she first saw her son’s seemingly lifeless body over that video call.

Albrecht-Payton said: “I pointed the camera at him. “And I’m so sorry I did that.”

The prosecution also imported more graphic video and photographic evidence from officers who first arrived on the scene after Wright crashed his car.

Testing will start again on Friday at 10am

First degree manslaughter requires prosecutors to prove Potter acted recklessly. The second degree requires them to demonstrate culpable negligence. Neither charge requires proof that she intended to kill. State sentencing guidelines call for just over seven years in prison for the first count and four years for the other.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.)

MORE NEWS: Kim Potter’s Trial in Daunte Wright’s Death Begins Wednesday: Here’s How to Watch Kim Potter Trial: Former Supervisor Proves She Was Justified Using Deadly Force – WCCO


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