Kimberly Potter, 49, shot Duante Wright dead on April 11 after she allegedly mistook her gun for a Taser
Attorneys for the Minneapolis cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright after she mistook her gun for a taser will argue his death was an “innocent error” at trial next month.
Kimberly Potter, 49, resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department shortly after the April 11 incident. She faces one charge of first-degree manslaughter and one of second-degree manslaughter.
Attorneys Paul Engh and Earl Gray outlined the four defenses they plan to use — “Innocent Accident,” “Innocent Mistake,” “Her perceived use of a taser was fair” and “Lack of Causation” — in a filing Wednesday. court file obtained by the Star Stand.
The list doesn’t rule out using other defense tactics. Potter is out on $100,000 bail.
Potter stopped Wright for hanging an air freshener on his rear-view mirror, according to his mother, who said Wright called her just before he died. According to the police, he was arrested because he had an expired registration.
Wright, 20, had an active arrest warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of fleeing police and possessing an unlicensed weapon at the time of the arrest.
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Her lawyers have submitted a list of defenses they will use during her trial, which starts in November. Among them are ‘Innocent error’ and ‘Her perceived use of a taser was reasonable’
Bodycam footage shows an officer handcuffing Wright, who manages to slide off the handcuffs and jump back into his car.
Potter’s gun was in her holster on her right, while the Taser was on her left.
“I’ll taser you,” she warned Wright, pointing her gun at him. “Taser, Taser, Taser!”
She then shot him in the chest with the real gun before he drove off.
“Oh shit, I just shot him,” Wright said.
Wright’s family was devastated at the loss.
Daunte Wright had called his mother and said he was being arrested for hanging an air freshener from his rearview mirror, a crime in Minnesota
Wright, above with his now two-year-old son, had an active warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of fleeing police and possessing an unlicensed weapon
His father Aubrey told Good Morning America, “I lost my son. He’s never coming back.
‘I can’t accept that. An error? That doesn’t even sound right.’
Wright’s April 22 funeral at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis drew people like Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
Relatives of Philando Castile, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant — other black men killed by police officers — were also in attendance.
“We come from all over the country because you hurt one of our princes. You thought he was just a boy with air freshener. But he was a prince. All of Minneapolis stopped today to honor the Prince of Brooklyn Center,” Sharpton said.
A woman holds a Black Lives Matter flag during Daunte Wright’s funeral service outside the Shiloh Temple on April 22
“My son should bury me,” Daunte Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said in the middle
sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Ilhan Omar, both Democrats from Minnesota, were also in attendance
The shooting sparked days of protests in a city already reeling from months of rioting over the death of George Floyd in 2020.
Family lawyer Benjamin Crump named Wright’s two-year-old son.
“At some point, Daunte Jr. old enough to watch that video where his father was killed so needlessly. A crime, a crime,” Crump said incredulously.
‘Too often the traffic jams end in a death sentence, a death sentence. We need to make sure that Daunte Jr. know that we stood up for Daunte, his father.’
Potter is a 26-year veteran who became a police officer in 1995 at the age of 22. The married mother of two was also the president of the Brooklyn Center Police Department’s union.
A year and a half before shooting Wright, she was involved in the police murder of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, a 21-year-old autistic man.
In August 2019, his grandfather called the police after he allegedly grabbed a knife and hammer in an altercation that began when a restaurant got its order wrong, according to KARE.
The shipping notes say that the grandfather, who raised him from the age of six, later told 911, “He’ll probably be fine, forget it.”
When officers arrived, Dimock-Heisler “jumped off his chair, grabbed a knife and attempted to stab one of the officers,” according to a report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“Three officers fired their tasers to no avail. Then, and only then, did they fire their guns.’
Prosecutors declined to charge the officers involved.
Dimock-Heisler’s mother Amity told Minnesota Public Radio that her son posed no threat.
“My son had only hurt himself, no one else,” she said. “So if you hear them trying to say something else, don’t believe it.”
The report found that Potter had told two officers involved in the shooting to “leave the residence, get into separate police cars, turn off their body-worn cameras and not talk to each other.”