On Tuesday, December 14, the jury heard the fifth 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. In April, Potter and a junior officer pulled Wright over for a traffic stop. When they discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest, they attempted to take him into custody. A struggle ensued and Potter shot Wright with her gun. She claims that she meant to use her taser.
On the first day of the trial, Wright’s mother, Katie Bryant, testified that Wright had called her over Facebook Messenger when he was pulled over. On the second day of the trial, Wright’s girlfriend, Alayna-Albrecht-Payton, testified that 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 and claims he could have faced death or serious injury had she not intervened. On the fourth day of the trial, medical examiner Dr. Lorren Jackson testified that the gunshot wound – not the THC found in Wright’s system – was what caused his death.
Jury Receives Taser Training From Sergeant Mike Peterson
Sgt Mike Peterson: use of force instructor
Police officer since 2005, w Brooklyn Center all 16 yrs
First became a taser training instructor before moving onto firearms, then for all use of force. #KimPotterTrial #DaunteWright pic.twitter.com/XAPbGhTKTO
— Serene 🦉 (@MythSerene) December 14, 2021
On Tuesday afternoon, a 16-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Sergeant Mike Peterson, took the stand. He was questioned by attorney Matthew Frank, who asked him about his background in use-of-force instruction.
Peterson became a use-of-force instructor in 2007 and is a certified taser instructor for the department. Peterson explained that the Brooklyn Center’s Taser policy required officers to carry the taser on an opposite side of their body from their firearm to minimize the chance that the wrong weapon could be grabbed. He also agreed that the possibility of confusing the two is “a topic that is taught and paid attention to.”
Peterson then did a walkthrough of how to use a taser for a jury, including a spark test.
Commander Flesland Says That Potter Took Her Training Seriously
And today, Cmdr. Garett Flesland, who oversees training officers in Brooklyn Center, said that it would be appropriate to shoot someone in that scenario.
Here’s a clip of that testimony, as he’s questioned by Kim Potter’s lawyer.
(Cmdr. Flesland also called her “a good cop.”) pic.twitter.com/DJ8pt6TG7G
— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) December 14, 2021
Brooklyn Center Police Department Commander Garett Flesland said that Potter took her duties and her training seriously. He testified that he carries the taser in the same manner that Potter did, with the taser on his left side and his gun on his right side.
“That’s how the policy has always been and that’s how we’ve always been trained,” he said. “When we incorporated the taser into our repertoire, it gave us, what I believe is a powerful new tool that can allow us more options in a wide variety of situations that hopefully, potentially, are going to minimize any unnecessary violence or injuries.”
They then walked through all of the taser certifications that Potter received, and Flesland testified that he was not aware of Potter missing any training sessions.
He also discussed the possibility of Potter having to use deadly force in the incident. When under questioning, Flesland said, “I would be extremely concerned if I was going to arrest someone that had an arrest warrant for some sort of weapons violation.” When asked if it was necessary for Potter to use deadly force in her situation, Flesland replied, “Potentially, yes, but I wasn’t there.”
He went on to say that Potter is “a good person, she’s a friend. I have no concerns going to calls with her. I had no concerns with her.”