Friday, February 3, 2023

Former Minnesota police officer found guilty of shooting dead

Jurors on Thursday indicted a former suburban Minneapolis police officer on two counts of manslaughter, in the murder of a black motorist who he shot during a traffic stop.

A mostly white jury deliberated for nearly four days before finding former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter guilty of first-degree and second-degree murder. Potter, 49, faces nearly seven years in prison on the most serious count under state sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors said they would seek a longer term.

Potter, who said she confused her gun for her Taser at the time of the shooting and testified that she “didn’t want to hurt anyone,” looked down without showing any apparent reaction when the judgment read.

Potter, who is white, shot and killed 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop on April 11 in Brooklyn Center, as he and other officers were trying to arrest him on an outstanding warrant for a weapon charge. . The shooting took place at a time of high tension in the area, with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on trial for the murder of George Floyd just a few miles away. Potter resigned two days later.

The jurors watched video of the shooting which was captured by police body cameras and dashcams. It shows Potter and an officer she was training, Anthony Luckey, with Wright holding an air freshener hanging from their rear-view mirror as their license plate expired. During the stop, Luckey found that there was a warrant for Wright’s arrest for not appearing in court on a charge of possession of weapons, and he, Potter and another officer went to take Wright into custody.

Protesters Gather With Don'T Wright'S Family Outside The Hennepin County Government Center On December 22, 2021 In Minneapolis.  A Former Suburban Police Officer Was Found Guilty Of Murder In The Fatal Shooting Of Wright On December 23.

Protesters gather with Don’t Wright’s family outside the Hennepin County Government Center on December 22, 2021 in Minneapolis. A former suburban police officer was found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of Wright on December 23.

‘I just shot him’

Wright followed Lucky’s orders to get out of his car, but as Lucky tried to handcuff him, Wright pulled him over and came back inside. As Lucky grabbed Wright, Potter said, “I’ll tease you.” The video then shows Potter holding his gun in his right hand and pointing at Wright. Again, Potter said, “I’ll tease you,” and then two seconds later: “Taser, Taser, Taser.” A second later, he fired a single shot at Wright’s chest.

,[Expletive], I just shot him. … I got it wrong [expletive] gun,” said Potter. A minute later, she said: “I’m going to jail.”

In an sometimes tearful testimony, Potter told jurors that he was “sorry that this happened.” She said the traffic stop “just got chaotic” and shouted her warning about the Taser after seeing a glimmer of fear on the face of Sergeant Mychal Johnson, who leaned against the passenger-side door of Wright’s car. She also told jurors that she did not remember what she said or what happened after the shooting, as most of her memories of those moments were “missing”.

Potter’s lawyers argued that he made a mistake by drawing his gun instead of his Taser. But he also said that if Johnson was in danger of being dragged, it would be appropriate to use lethal force.

Prosecutors tried to sow doubts about Potter’s testimony that he decided to act after seeing the fear on Johnson’s face. Prosecutor Erin Aldridge said in cross-examination that in an interview with Potter, a defense expert, she said she didn’t know why she decided to build her own Taser. During their closing argument, Aldridge also replayed Potter’s body-camera video, which she said never gave a clear view of Johnson’s face during key moments.

Aldridge also downplayed the testimony of some other officers, who described Potter as a good person or said that they saw nothing wrong with his actions: “The defendant has found himself in trouble and his police family has taken a beating.” He’s patted her back.”

Prosecutors also convinced Potter that he did not plan to use lethal force. He said that Potter, a veteran officer with extensive training in the use of tasers and the use of lethal force, acted recklessly and spoofed the badge.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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