Thursday, December 16, marks the seventh day of testimony in the Kim Potter trial.
Potter, 49, has pled not guilty to first and second-degree manslaughter charges for the murder of Daunte Wright, 20. Potter fatally shot Wright at a traffic stop last April when she discharged her gun instead of her taser.
On the first day and second day of the trial, Wright’s mother and girlfriend gave emotional testimonies. Wright had called his mother during the arrest and his girlfriend was in the car with him at the time of the shooting.
On the third day of the trial, Potter’s former supervisor testified that Potter had a right to use deadly force during the arrest, as per state statute. On the fourth day of the trial, a medical examiner confirmed that the gunshot wound was what led to Wright’s death.
On the fifth day, the jury witnessed a taser spark test from Sergeant Mike Peterson, who continued to testify on Wednesday that although they do their best, they cannot train officers for every situation. On the sixth day of the trial, an expert witness claimed that Potter’s use of force in the arrest was “excessive and inappropriate.”
Former Police Chief Tim Gannon Takes The Stand
“I SAW NO VIOLATION” Must watch trial moment as defense atty Earl Gray asks former Brooklyn Center Police chief Tim Gannon for his assessment of #KimPotter actions during deadly traffic stop encounter with #DaunteWright.#KimPotterTrial @FOX9 pic.twitter.com/ppDw86C6WQ
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) December 16, 2021
Former Police Chief Tim Gannon took the stand on Thursday to insist that Potter committed “no violation,” even after viewing the bodycam footage of the shooting.
Gannon resigned two days after the April 11 shooting “because I would not immediately fire Kim Potter.” Potter resigned later that day.
Gannon testified that after he had “all the data in front of me, I saw no violation.”
“Violation of what?” attorney Earl Gray asked.
“Of policy, procedure, or law,” Gannon stated.
Gannon’s testimony is a big win for Potter’s attorneys, who have argued that Potter was within her rights to use deadly force even if she did not intend to do so because another officer could have been injured if Wright had attempted to flee.
Sergeant Mychal Johnson testified on the third day of the trial that he was “leaning into” Wright’s car during the arrest and could have been “dragged, seriously injured, or killed” if Wright had taken off.
Use-Of-Force Expert Stephen Ijames Takes The Stand
This man is essentially the Alpha cop, you see a cop do anything on TV, he did it. Wrote the policy on tasers, trained counter terrorism in every US state and over 30 countries, SWAT, DEA, for over 44 years this man was the cop’s cop. He also had open heart surgery last week. pic.twitter.com/JwHvDxz34Q
— Geroge Pu∀lso (@pualso) December 16, 2021
Earlier on Thursday, the defense called another use-of-force expert to the stand: Former Assistant Police Chief Stephen Ijames from Springfield, Missouri. Ijames testified that Potter and junior officer Anthony Luckey were legally obligated to arrest Wright after they learned that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest on a weapons violation.
During his testimony, Ijames also expressed disagreement with yesterday’s use-of-force expert who said that a taser would not have been effective because Potter was standing too close to Wright. Ijames further testified that officers had a right to assume that Wright “very likely could have a gun” due to his past history, and called it a “dereliction of duty” if they had not tried to arrest him.
It is still not clear when Kim Potter will take the stand in her own defense, but she is expected to do so.