The Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter – who shot and killed Black motorist Daunte Wright – sobbed as she testified this past Friday about the moment she accidentally reached her handgun instead of her taser.
“We were struggling. We were trying to keep him from driving away. It just went chaotic,” Potter told the court in her first public remarks on the tragic April 11 incident in suburban Minneapolis.
“I remember yelling ‘Taser! Taser! Taser!’ and nothing happened, and then he told me I shot him,” she said in tears. “I’m sorry it happened. I’m so sorry,” she added. “I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”
Potter has since been charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter over Wright’s death.
Potter conceded to prosecutor Erin Eldridge that she did not see any weapon in Wright’s possession and that he never threatened or punched her or her fellow officers.
But she said she saw “a look of fear” on one of the officer’s faces when Wright tried to reenter his car and flee the scene as they attempted to arrest him.
“He had a look of fear on his face,” she said. “It was nothing I’d seen before.”
She also stated she was worried there may have been a weapon in Wright’s vehicle after she learned upon pulling him over that he was wanted on a warrant for a gun charge. Her defense team raised this as evidence it was a potentially dangerous situation that warranted her use of force.
The former officer was asked about comments made immediately after she fired the deadly shots in which she was recorded saying, “Oh, s*** I shot him. I grabbed the wrong f****** gun. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. I’m going to prison.”
Potter recalled not being able to account for her actions, including not checking on her fellow officers, due to shock.
“I was very distraught,” she said. “I’d just shot someone. I’d never done that.”
She conceded she had a duty as a police officer to try to help Wright, but she said she was too distressed.
“You didn’t run down the street and try to save Daunte Wright’s life, did you?” asked Eldridge.
“No,” Potter responded in tears. Potter then informed the court she resigned from her job to prevent “bad things happening to the city.” She has since sold her home and moved out of state.
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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