Daunte Wright had the chance to comply with police on April 11, but decided not to do so, a defense attorney said Wednesday in the trial of the police officer charged with killing him.
Kimberly Potter, who was an officer with the Brooklyn Center, Minn., police department, shot Wright to death during a traffic stop. Potter has said she meant to use a Taser on Wright, but instead fired her service weapon, killing him. She faces charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter.
Defense attorney Paul Engh noted that after pulling Wright over in a traffic stop, Potter and new officer Anthony Luckey discovered Wright was wanted on a warrant for a gun charge, making them fear Wright was armed.
Engh noted that when an attempt was made to handcuff Wright, he resisted.
“He knows exactly what he wants to do, and that is escape,” Engh said.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic footage
Engh noted that as Wright was refusing to comply, Sgt. Mychal Johnson leaned into the vehicle to grab the gear shift and prevent Wright from fleeing.
Potter “sees Johnson, whose location is key to the case, because if this guy drives away, he’s dead,” Engh said.
Engh said Wright had the option of obeying Potter, but refused to do so
“She said, ‘I’ll tase you, I’ll tase you.’ The language was direct. It was clear. It was unmistakable. And all Mr. Wright had to do was stop,” Engh said, according to NPR.
Court just ended for the day in the manslaughter trial of Kim Potter. Outside, dozens of people are marching with a “Justice for Daunte Wright” protest. pic.twitter.com/6xbgdRzS3y
— Grace Hauck (@grace_hauck) December 8, 2021
Luckey testified Tuesday that as he tried to handcuff Wright, Wright jerked his arm away, according to KSTP-TV.
Luckey said he told Wright, “Don’t do it, bro.”
Potter tried to grab Wright’s other arm, but he yanked it away from her, Luckey testified.
He said his next attempt to restrain Wright also failed as Wright, who was outside of the vehicle, re-entered the car.
Luckey said that he believed Wright was trying to get the vehicle going and drive away, but the officer was not able to turn off the car.
Luckey said he heard Potter tell Wright, “I’m gonna tase you.”
A Minnesota police officer is on trial this week for pulling her service weapon instead of a Taser, fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
We went inside one police academy focused on training de-escalation and self-control by officers in stressful situations. pic.twitter.com/xNsmFx6fTC
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) December 8, 2021
On Wednesday, prosecutors showed dashcam video from Potter’s squad car.
In the video, which shows Wright’s car driving away, Potter exclaims, “I just shot him.”
She puts her head in her hands and sits on the curb.
“I shot him, oh my God, oh my God,” she says.
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