Daunte Wright shooting: Kim Potter ‘manipulated’ gun holster before fatal shooting to make drawing firearm ‘easier,’ court hears

Former officer has been charged with first and second degree manslaughter

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 14 December 2021 14:10
Kim Potter trial: Sgt. Johnson says he took Potter's gun after deadly shooting
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Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter adjusted her firearm holster, which made drawing her gun “more efficient”, before fatally shooting 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright, the court was told on Monday during the second week of her trial.

Brent Peterson, an agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), noted that Ms Potter adjusted her firearm holster before approaching Wright’s vehicle.

“It would just make drawing the firearm easier, more efficient,” Mr Peterson testified.

Mr Petersen was shown a composite video that synced body-worn camera footage from Ms Potter, former sergeant Mychal Johnson and footage from the squad car.

Noting a “manipulation” of the holster, the agent cited his own example of how he would sometimes unlatch the first level of protection to make drawing the firearm easier.

Sam McGinnis, a special agent with BAC, also testified on Monday that he collected evidence from Ms Potter after the shooting.

Mr McGinnis said that, in Ms Potter’s duty belt, the gun holster was on the dominant right side while the Taser was on the left. Both were drawn after snapping back a safety mechanism on the holster, he added.

He told the court that the Brooklyn Center police department’s policy required all officers to perform a “spark test” of their tasers ahead of their shifts every day to confirm the functioning of such devices.

Mr McGinnis said he examined Ms Potter’s employment records and performed an electronic audit on her taser to confirm when the function tests were last performed. According to the audit, he said, “officer Potter had conducted function tests, or spark tests, on her taser six out of the 10 shifts”.

“The taser’s yellow, the firearm is black. The taser has a stocky body to it compared to the Glock handgun. The grip of the Taser is shorter and wider than the Glock,” Mr McGinnis said, explaining the differences between a Taser and a Glock pistol.

Ms Potter, 49, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter for killing Mr Wright on 11 April this year. The veteran police officer of 26 years has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The former officer claimed that she mistook her firearm for a taser when she shot Mr Wright after pulling him over for a traffic stop for expired licence plate tags and an air freshener hanging in the rearview mirror of his car.

The shooting took place at a time when another Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was on trial for the killing of another Black man George Floyd just 10 miles away. Chauvin was convicted of murder.

Body-camera footage of the shooting showed Ms Potter shouting “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before shooting Mr Wright in the chest. Shortly after Ms Potter can be seen saying: “S***! I shot him!”

She was then seen crumpled face down on the grass by the side of the road wailing.

Ms Potter was seen wiping away tears as the court was shown footage of her reaction to the shooting.

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