On the third day of trial, the jury heard from officers on the scene who feared former Minnesota officer Kim Potter would harm herself after she fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Mychal Johnson, who is now a former Brooklyn Center police sergeant, testified in court Friday that he switched his unloaded gun with Potter’s following the incident.
According to Insider, footage played in court showed Johnson asking Potter to give him the gun she used to shoot Wright. “Just let me kill myself, Mike,” Potter said in response.
“I knew that her firearm was a piece of evidence at that time,” Johnson said in court. “So I removed her firearm and put it in my holster, and put my gun in her holster, just so that that evidence was preserved.”
Another officer, Colleen Fricke, had told Johnson that she was afraid Potter might hurt herself, Johnson testified. The former sergeant’s body-camera footage showed that Fricke asked Johnson, “Can we mute this?” before the audio cut out on the footage.
Johnson testified that as Potter sat in the back of a squad car, he approached her and “discreetly asked” if he could take his firearm from her holster.
“I was able to turn away from her with my firearm, remove the magazine from it and the one round that was in the chamber,” without Potter seeing, Johnson told the court.
Video shown on the first day of trial, also showed Potter distraught, collapsing to the ground and repeating, “Oh my god! What am I going to do?” and “I’m going to prison.” Potter pled not guilty to first and second degree manslaughter charges.
During cross examination with the defense, Johnson also testified that Potter would have been right to use deadly force, according to CNN.
The defense plans to prove that it was just an unfortunate accident that Potter mistook her gun for a taser. During opening statements, one of Potter’s attorneys Paul Engh said that Potter was trying to protect Johnson when the shooting happened. Wright had gotten back in the car while Johnson was still leaning into the vehicle. Engh said that Potter knew if Wright drove off, then her partner could be dragged.
“So basically, based on these videos and the conduct of Daunte Wright, as far as you’re concerned — and you were there — Kimberly Potter would have had a right to use a firearm, right?” defense attorney Earl Gray asked.
“Yes,” Johnson answered.
Gray asked Johnson what would have happened to him if Wright had taken off with him still in the car.
“Probably dragged,” Johnson answered.
“Dragged and what,” Gray asked.
“Seriously injured, maybe even dead, right?” Gray said.
“And if that were the case, when an officer in your position with Officer Potter trying to stop him from resisting with you and resisting Luckey, would it be fair for that officer to use a firearm to stop him?” Gray asked.
“By state statute, yes,” Johnson replied.
Johnson said that he had admired Potter as an officer and after the shooting, he traded guns with her because of her mental state.
If convicted on both charges, Potter faces at least a decade to a maximum of 25 years in prison.