Daunte Wright's killer blames him for his own death

The trial of Kim Potter, the 48-year-old white cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man, in Brooklyn Center, Minne...



The trial of Kim Potter, the 48-year-old white cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota last April, is ongoing, and the defense is trying to get him in the two senses with his argument.

Potter, who says she wanted to use her Taser instead of her gun, was charged with first and second degree manslaughter. Defense attorneys argue that although Potter’s actions were wrong, she would have been justified in shooting Wright anyway.

This idea that his death was a “mistake” aired early on in the news and headlines, and the charges of manslaughter rather than murder also suggest the shooting was unintentional. But now that Potter is on trial, the defense instead presents a different argument: the only person to blame for Daunte Wright’s death is Daunte Wright.

Potter was training Officer Anthony Luckey on April 11 when the couple arrested Wright because a an air freshener was hanging from his rear view mirror. Officers checked his information and found that Wright had an outstanding warrant for aggravated armed robbery, failure to appear, fleeing a police officer and possession of a firearm without a license.

When Potter tried to stop Wright, he got back in the car. In body camera footage, Potter howls, “Taser, Taser, Taser!” She then pulls out her gun and shoots Wright at close range. The young man attempts to flee but crashes the vehicle into an oncoming car and dies. Medical examiners later confirmed Wright was shot and killed.

The footage shows Potter swearing and crying. “Holy shit, I just shot him” she moans.

Potter resigned two days later, as protests exploded in suburban Minneapolis. She was charged with second-degree manslaughter and arrested on April 14. After a thorough review of the case, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added that more serious charge of first-degree manslaughter in September.

In their opening statement, the prosecution said the shooting violated public confidence in the police.

“We trust them to tell the wrong from the right and the left from the right,” Assistant Attorney General Erin Eldridge said. noted in the prosecution’s opening statement. “This case concerns the defendant Kimberly Potter who betrayed her badge, betrayed her oath and betrayed her position of public trust on April 11 of this year.”

However, defense attorney Paul Engh said in his opening statement that Potter called the shooting a mistake “to his eternal and endless regret. But, confusingly, he also said she would have been within her rights had she chosen to use lethal force against Wright, which begs the question: how can this be both a mistake and a justified shooting? ?

That leaves all the work to the jury, who will make a decision once both sides have finished their arguments.

Imagine if this same logic were applied to another scenario. Suppose your coworker called you a derogatory term via email, but when you report it to HR, your coworker says it was actually an automatic correction and he sincerely regrets it. But even if autocorrect wasn’t to blame, the colleague said, they were perfectly within their rights to call you that – because you are a.

This is the crux of the defense argument. Potter didn’t want to kill Wright, but he deserved to be killed… so what’s the problem?

Underlying this argument is the lie that our legal system so often accepts as truth: that whatever a police officer does, it is justified. The defense wants the jury to believe that Potter was a good cop who wouldn’t shoot a black man for no reason — but also that that same black man was so dangerous that violence was the option.

Mychal Johnson, a former Brooklyn Center police sergeant who was called to the scene that day, testified that Potter had the right to use deadly force. “Based on these videos and Daunte Wright’s conduct…Kimberly Potter would have had the right to use a gun, wouldn’t she?” defense attorney Earl Gray request. “Yes,” Johnson replied, adding that if Potter hadn’t shot Wright, he could have been dragged by the car and seriously injured or killed. Minnesota law allows police to use deadly force to prevent death or serious injury. It’s no secret that the cops have wide discretion in these situations.

Police brutality wasn’t invented in 2020. But it was the year the coronavirus pandemic collided with several high-profile police killings, particularly when Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, murdered George Floyd, a black man, kneeling on his neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked a nationwide protest. The so-called racial calculation had finally arrived! But it was still short-lived. By the time Chauvin went on trial in early 2021, the backlash from the protests and the whole concept of racial justice had already begun. Potter killed Wright just 10 miles from Minneapolis, and just days before Chauvin’s guilty verdict.

But perhaps the most shocking aspect of the defense strategy in this case is how different it is from Potter’s immediate reaction. She is clearly upset by the incident in the footage, and her fellow officers said they were fears she will hurt herself. But instead of presenting the case as a real mistake and what the consequences of that mistake should look like, Potter’s lawyers argue that the only person who made mistakes on that fateful day was the deceased.

“All Mr. Wright had to do was stop,” Engh said during his opening statement. “All he had to do was surrender. All Wright had to do to avoid his own death was do one simple thing. Of course, what’s not said is that all Potter had to do was not mistake his Taser for his gun.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Daunte Wright's killer blames him for his own death
Daunte Wright's killer blames him for his own death
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