The mother of Daunte Wright was among the witnesses called to take the stand Wednesday in the trial of former police officer Kim Potter, who stands accused of second-degree manslaughter.
Here's what happened today in court:
- Attorney general talks about Wright's life: Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge told the jury during her opening statement that 20-year-old Wright had his "whole adult life ahead of him" when he was shot and killed in April 2021. She said Wright lived at home with his parents and had six siblings in a "large, blended family."
- Defense attorney says Potter made a "mistake": Defense attorney Paul Engh began his opening statement by telling the jury that "all Mr. Wright had to do was stop" and not resist arrest and he wouldn't have been killed. The defense attorney said that when Potter said "I'll tase you," that her "language was direct it was clear" and "all he had to do was surrender" but "that wasn't his plan." He said that Potter pulled the trigger "believing that it was a taser...for why else would she say it" instead of a gun. He said that she killed Wright "much to her everlasting and never-ending regret" but that it was a "mistake" and an "accident."
- Wright's mom gives emotional testimony: The prosecution's first witness was Katie Bryant, mother of Wright. She began her testimony by describing what the family was doing earlier in the day on the day of the shooting. Bryant said that on the morning of April 11, 2021, she was watching Wright's 1-year-old son. "I had Daunte Jr. He stayed the night. It was just an average day. And we woke up, he had his favorite chocolate chip pancakes and he was eating breakfast, watching Coco Melon, and it was time for his nap that was around 12 something that afternoon," Bryant said.
- Events leading up to the shooting: Officer Anthony Luckey testified that after he pulled Wright over on April 11, 2021, he approached the vehicle and told Wright that he stopped him for an illegal air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. Luckey, who works for the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police department, said he also asked Wright about the expired registration on his car. Wright told the officer that it was a new car that he just bought from his brother and he was in the process of getting updated tags for the vehicle. Luckey said that he then asked for his license and Wright told him he didn't have one. The officer said he noticed the "odor of marijuana" coming from the car and a "marijuana residue" on the center console of the car. Luckey then returned to his squad car and ran Wright's information through a state identification system. The officer said that when he ran the information, it showed Wright had an outstanding warrant for a "gross misdemeanor weapons charge," and an "order of protection for a female."
- A struggle ensues: Luckey said he approached Wright's car a second time, after pulling him over, and asked him to step out of the vehicle. He said that the officers on the scene, including the defendant Kim Potter, informed Wright that he was under arrest for an outstanding warrant. Luckey then asked him to put his hands behind his back. When Luckey placed the left handcuff on Wright's wrist, Wright "jerked his arm back." "When he starts to tense up I told him 'don't do it bro,'" Luckey testified. Luckey said that Wright looked to the right, and Potter approached them and tried to grab Wright's arm. He said Wright broke free and "got back into the vehicle."
- The shooting: Potter can be heard saying "I'll tase ya," before shooting Wright. "I just shot him. I grabbed the wrong f***ing gun," Potter said. "I shot him, oh my God." "Oh my God," Potter added while crying. Potter continued to yell, "Oh my God," numerous times while lying face down on the grass, according to body camera footage.
The trial has adjourned for the day. The trial will resume Thursday at 9 a.m. local time.