In yet another trial in Minnesota, Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop when she “mistakenly” used her gun instead of her taser, is set to testify in her trial.
Earlier this year, a Minnesota jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on charges of murder. Now almost 6 months later, another cop in the state is on trial for being incompetent at their job and resulting in the death of a Black man.
Per the report from NBC News, Potter’s attorney, Paul Engh, shared his decision to have his client take the stand because a potential juror wrote in her questionnaire that she didn’t fully understand how the traffic stop that ended in the death of Wright occurred.
I mean, it is pretty mind-boggling. How does a 26-year police veteran mistake her gun for a taser? Some may see it as a simple mistake, but there is not anything simple about it. An officer who was on the force for a quarter of a century was inept when it mattered most and it resulted in the death of a young Black man.
From NBC News:
According to the complaint against Potter, Wright was initially stopped on the afternoon of April 11 for an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror and the car’s expired license plate tabs. Officers then learned that Wright also had an arrest warrant for a weapons violation.
A body-worn camera showed that after he was ordered out of the car and officers tried to handcuff him, Wright tried to get back in the vehicle as a female voice shouted, “Taser!”
The same voice could be heard later saying, “Holy s—- I just shot him,” as Wright tried to drive away, police said.
Tim Gannon, the Brooklyn Center police chief at the time, said he believed Potter meant to draw her Taser but instead grabbed her service weapon.
Potter, who is white, has said she made an innocent mistake when she shot Wright.
There is not anything innocent about it. Your ineptitude led to someone’s death. Consequences need to be dished out. There needs to be accountability.
When most of us mess up at work, we may get yelled at by our boss. When a cop has a blunder, someone dies. There need to be higher standards because Black lives are constantly being lost.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and his office are leading the prosecution of Potter. Ellison’s office also supervised the prosecution that resulted in Derek Chauvin being found guilty according to NBC News.
Maybe that is a sign for things to come in this trial. But, there is a history of jurors being remorseful towards officers who make “mistakes.” Hopefully, they find a cop who was incapable of doing her job.