The girlfriend of Daunte Wright, Alayna Albrecht-Payton, gave an emotional testimony on Thursday after she witnessed him being fatally shot by a former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter back in April.
“[He] wasn’t answering me and he was just gasping,” Alayna, 20, said while testifying for the prosecution.
Albrecht-Payton, who had been dating Daunte for a few weeks before his death, was a passenger in the car when he was killed.
“I grabbed whatever was in the car. I don’t remember if it was a sweater or a towel or a blanket or — I just grabbed whatever… and put it on his chest like you see in movies and TV shows,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do, so I just put my hands over his chest and tried to hold [the wound] and tried to scream his name. I just tried to have him talk to me. I just kept saying, ‘Daunte, Daunte, just say something please, just talk to me.’ And he just couldn’t — I know he tried, I know he wanted to.”
“I replay that image in my head daily,” Albrecht-Payton said.
Potter, 49, faces felony charges of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Wright’s death. She has pleaded not guilty to both charges despite resigning days after the shooting.
Wright, a 20 year-old Black man, was pulled over for a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis on April 11. And when police ran his information, they found he had an outstanding arrest warrant for a gross misdemeanor weapons violation.
As Potter and her partner attempted to put him under arrest, Wright began to flee the scene. Potter warned Wright that she would use her Taser on him, but drew her handgun and shot him once in the chest. In body camera footage, Potter can be heard saying, “I just shot him. … I grabbed the wrong (expletive) gun!”
Wright had started the car when he was shot, and the vehicle moved a short distance down the street before crashing into another car.
Albrecht-Payton recalled how Wright was scared and did not want to get out of the car when they were first pulled over by the police. Ultimately, he followed the officers’ instructions.
“He was really scared; I’d never seen him like that before,” she testified. “If you know Daunte, he’s just really happy and positive and you can’t be sad or depressed or angry around him. He was just so nervous and flustered.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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