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Kim Potter, the former suburban Minneapolis police officer who allegedly shot and killed Daunte Wright when she mistook her gun for her taser, will testify at her trial, one of her defense attorneys said during the first day of jury selection on Tuesday.
“Officer Potter will testify and tell you what she remembers happened, so you will know not just from the video but from the officers at the scene and Officer Potter herself what was occurring,” Paul Engh, a lawyer for Potter, told a potential juror. “We have something to say here too.”
Potter was attempting to arrest Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, in April during a traffic stop. Wright initially obeyed orders but tried to get back into his car as officers were handcuffing him, body camera footage shows.
“I’ll tase ya,” Potter said before pulling out her handgun and repeating again, “I’ll tase you.”
About two seconds later, Potter fired one shot into Wright’s chest as she said, “Taser Taser Taser.”
“S—! I just shot him,” Potter can be heard saying on body camera footage. “I grabbed the wrong f—— gun.”
In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter sits at the defense table, center, as Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu presides over jury selection Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
Potter is facing charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter.
The shooting happened in April during the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, who was eventually convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Roughly 200 potential jurors were sent questionnaires, similar to the ones used in Chauvin’s trial, that quizzed them about their opinions on policing, what they knew about the shooting, their impressions of Potter and Wright, and other relevant aspects of the case.
Daunte Wright, left, was killed in an April traffic stop. Kim Potter, right, is charged with manslaughter in his killing.
(Facebook/Hennepin County Sheriff)
Four jurors were seated on Tuesday after being further questioned by the defense and prosecutors. Their identities will not be released during the trial.
One of the jurors, a medical editor, said he has unfavorable views of both the Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter movements.
Another juror who was seated Tuesday, a retired special education teacher, said that she thinks she can view the evidence presented at trial objectively.
“I’m a retired teacher and one of my students told me one time that I’m strict-fair,” she said in court.
Multiple potential jurors were also dismissed on Tuesday, including one man who described Black Lives Matter as “Marxist Communist” and a retired fire captain who said he had good experiences working with police.
The defense can dismiss up to five jurors without giving a reason and the prosecution can dismiss three, which is standard in Minnesota.
The family of Daunte Wright, led by his mother Katie, second from left, a clergy member, front center, and son Damik, at left with red cap, arrive Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at the Government Center in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Potter and the officer she was training, Anthony Luckey, originally pulled Wright over because he had expired tags, then tried to arrest him because he had an outstanding warrant for a weapons violation.
Wright’s estate is currently facing three different lawsuits from individuals who are accusing him of various crimes, including robbery, carjacking, and two shootings.
The prosecution is set to argue at trial that Potter was a trained police officer who should have known better, while the defense will present the shooting as an innocent mistake.
Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu set aside six days for jury selection ahead of opening statements on Dec. 8.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.