On Monday, December 13, the jury heard the fourth day of testimony in the Kim Potter trial.
Potter, 49, has pled not guilty to first and second-degree manslaughter charges for the shooting of Daunte Wright, 20. Potter tried to arrest Daunte during a traffic stop in April when she and other officers learned there was a warrant out for his arrest. A struggle ensued, and Potter claims she accidentally shot Wright with her gun instead of using her taser.
During the first day of the trial, Wright’s mother, Katie Bryant, testified. She was on the phone with Wright when he was pulled over by police. On the second day of the trial, Wright’s girlfriend, Alayna-Albrecht-Payton, took the stand. She was in the car with Wright during the time of the shooting.
On the third day of the trial, Potter’s former supervisor, Brooklyn Center police officer Mychal Johnson testified that Potter had a right to use deadly force as per a state statute, as he faced the possibility of being injured or killed if Wright had taken off while he was halfway inside the car.
Medical Examiner Takes The Stand: ‘THC Not A Factor’
Dr. Lorren Jackson, an assistant Hennepin County medical examiner, testified that the gunshot wound causing injuries to Wright’s heart and lungs is what caused his death.https://t.co/Fg2cnYHExF
— Newsy (@Newsy) December 13, 2021
On Monday, Hennepin County assistant medical examiner Dr. Lorren Jackson took the stand to testify that Wright’s death was determined to be a result of the gunshot wound that injured Wright’s heart and lungs.
“Far and away the gunshot wound to the chest was the most significant injury,” he stated.
He also confirmed that Wright did have THC in his system at the time of the arrest. Several officers have claimed that the car smelled strongly of weed during the time of the arrest. Jackson testified that the THC metabolites in Wright’s blood was 43 nanograms, which he described as being on the “high-end,” but was normal for those who smoke marijuana regularly.
Dr. Jackson testified that he did not believe THC was a contributing factor in Wright’s death. He also added that he has never seen anyone die of a marijuana overdose. The jury was shown graphic images of Wright’s body from the scene, as well as autopsy photos. These photos were withheld from the public.
How Are A Taser And A Handgun Different?
— KTVO Television (@KTVOTV) December 14, 2021
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Senior Special Agent Sam McGinnis testified that Potter held her taser and her gun in a “straight draw,” position, which means she used her right hand for her weapon and her left hand for her taser. Both weapons are concealed by snaps on Potter’s belt.
As the prosecution demonstrated in last week’s opening statement, there are significant differences between the taser and the gun. The taser is yellow while the gun is completely black. There is also a weight difference between the two items. The taser also has LED lights and a laser, which the gun does not.
Agent McGinnis testified that his investigation revealed that Potter had failed to perform a function test on her taser in the days leading up to the shooting. These functions tests are required before each shift.
Later in the week, Dr. Laurence Miller is expected to take the stand to testify about the theory of “slip and capture,” which is when an officer under stress may automatically reach for their gun instead of their taster out of habit. Miller is only allowed to explain this concept in broad terms and cannot state whether or not Potter may have experienced this phenomenon when the fatal shooting occurred.