Potter missed the opportunity to explain the Taser mix-up

Minneapolis (AP) — Former Minnesota police officer Who shot and killed Dantelite When she testified in a manslaughter trial for the death of a black driver, she alternated between tears, remorse statements, and answers to the facts that were cut out.

However Friday’s testimony of Kim Potter Especially lacking an important element of her defense – when she made a mistake Pulled a pistol instead of Taser and killed Wright When traffic stopped at the Brooklyn Center last April.

One legal expert who spoke to the Associated Press said the defense could have been deliberately ambiguous in that regard, but others missed the opportunity for Potter to tell the jury how. Said it seems A mistake may have occurred And what she was thinking — it seems she was waiting for the jury to hear.

“I didn’t think they were fully pulled out of Potter because we didn’t come to her mind,” said Marsh Halberg, a Minneapolis defendant lawyer who had nothing to do with the case.

In response to a question from lawyer Earl Gray, Potter testified that he met his boss while the policeman was wrestling with Wright. Sgt.Leaning on the car, Michal Johnson There is a “fearful expression on his face”. When she cried at the stand, she went on to say: “I remember yelling’taser, taser, taser’, and nothing happened, and he said I shot him. Told me He shot me before the car took off. “

“He made her admit that she saw horror on Johnson’s face, but didn’t explore further,” said John John, a former defense lawyer who teaches an ambitious police officer at St. Cloud State University. Baker said. “He should have gone further and asked her to testify more about it,” Baker said.

He added that Gray didn’t let Potter explain the mistake, “they didn’t deal with it.”

Mike Brant, another Minneapolis lawyer who oversees the case, said it might have been effective to break through the moments surrounding the shooting, but the defense said, “It wouldn’t be necessary. Make a tactical decision, probably you will. “

Mr. Brant said the goal of putting the white Potter on the stand was to humanize her for the jury and to believe he was successful. According to Brant, Gray used Potter’s words to do a good job of painting a woman who was encouraged to become an officer at an early age. Working on the street.

Experts believed that Potter’s tears were real, but had different views on how her emotions affected the jury.

“I was almost angry, especially when I saw him on the cross. Her facial expression seemed to be a positive recollection of the trauma of her experience,” said St. Thomas University Law. Professor Rachel Moran of the school said.

Moran said it’s hard not to believe that Potter was horrified and regretted what she did. But some sympathize with Potter, while others have problems with the fact that she needed comfort after the shoot when she should have focused on the lights, Moran said.

Moran said the fact that the lawyer did not follow Potter’s thinking was “strange,” and said he believed that one of the first questions to ask was whether Potter intended to shoot Wright. ..

Experts said prosecutor Erin Eldridge, who asked Potter, was generally strong in cross-examination.

Brant said he came across too defensive and slightly combative when Potter gave Eldridge a short answer, but when Potter began to cry, Eldridge looked like a “bully”. He said he started. Moran said Eldridge was not particularly aggressive, but continued to “bulldozing” through her cross-examination, even though Potter had what Moran called a “visible collapse.” She said it was difficult to say how it relates to the jury.

Moran also said that Potter’s immediate reaction to the shooting seen in the police video showed that she knew she had done something terribly wrong and did not intend to use her gun. Told. She said Eldridge was strong in establishing it during her interrogation.

In particular, Eldridge agreed that at some point Potter wasn’t going to use deadly power — Potter’s lawyer was afraid of Johnson’s life, even if this wasn’t a mistake. He was at risk, claiming to have been justified in using deadly power.

Another highlight, according to Baker, is when Eldridge introduced a body camera video to Potter and showed him what he was doing.

“It was really terrible when she took a video of a freeze frame by hand on something that looked like a weapon, as she was still waiting and was about to come in,” Baker said. .. “I think she did a great job of impeaching.”

Baker said her emotional expression could have had a greater impact if the jury started deliberations shortly after Potter’s testimony. He said putting a weekend between her testimony and closing arguments would give the jury some distance.

Legal experts said Potter’s testimony was not as strong as they expected.

According to Baker, defense spent a lot of time justifying traffic outages and wasn’t fully focused at the moment of pulling out the gun instead of the taser. According to Baker, Potter didn’t explain anything about what she did at that time, saying “there’s a defense problem.”

Halberg added on Friday: But it wasn’t. “


Find the full coverage of the Associated Press in the Daunte Wright case: https: //apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright