Former police officer Kim Potter, who has said she mistook her firearm for her Taser when she fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop near Minneapolis, broke down on the stand Friday — apologizing and insisting she “didn’t want to hurt anybody.”
“I was very distraught. I just shot somebody. I’m sorry it happened,” Potter cried as a prosecutor asked her about her behavior moments after the fatal shooting. “I’m so sorry.”
Asked whether she knew deadly force was “unreasonable and unwarranted,” Potter cried: “I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”
The defense rested Friday afternoon after an emotional Potter spent the hours on the stand, breaking down several times as she described the “chaotic” moments that day in April. Jury instructions and closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday.
Potter, the last of more than 30 witnesses called over eight days, began weeping early in her testimony as she recalled the “look of fear” on another officer’s face as he struggled with Wright.
“It’s nothing I’ve seen before,” she said, weeping, recalling the officer reaching into the car to grab the 20-year-old Black father during the April encounter.
“We are struggling. We’re trying to keep him from driving away. It just went chaotic. I remember yelling — ‘Taser, Taser, Taser’ — and nothing happened. And then he told me I shot him,” she said, crying and placing her hands over her face.
It was the first time the 26-year veteran cop has recounted publicly in detail what happened that day. Some jurors took notes.
Potter fell apart again later when, under cross, a prosecutor played a video of what happened right before the shooting.
Her own words are the centerpiece of her defense against first- and second-degree manslaughter charges in the incident, which set off days of unrest in the city of Brooklyn Center after a summer of coast-to-coast protests over how police treat people of color.