Kim Potter trial: Daunte Wright's girlfriend, responding officers testify
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Day two of testimony has wrapped up in the trial of Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, during a traffic stop earlier this year. FOX 9 is streaming the Potter trial live, gavel to gavel, at fox9.com/live and on the FOX 9 YouTube channel and the FOX 9 News App.
Thursday, Daunte Wright's girlfriend Alayna Albrecht-Payton, who was in the car with him during the fatal police stop, took the stand. She was followed by officers and paramedics who responded to the immediate aftermath.
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Daunte Wright's girlfriend: ‘He was really scared'
Alayna Albrecht-Payton was riding with Daunte Wright when he was pulled over for an air freshener. She told the court her boyfriend "was really scared" about the traffic stop and did not want to get out of the car. Under cross-examination, she confirmed she and Daunte smoked marijuana before the traffic stop.
Immediately after the shooting, she testified that Daunte "wasn't answering me and he was just gasping," and she said "I didn’t know what to do." Albrecht-Payton put pressure on Wright’s chest to try to stop the bleeding.
'I asked for an ambulance to come immediately’
Brooklyn Center Police Officer Alan Salvosa took the stand late Thursday morning. He witnessed Daunte Wright’s vehicle crash right in front of him after Wright was shot. Salvosa’s squad car dashcam captured the crash. He described confusion at scene, not fully understanding what had happened.
‘A single gunshot wound’
Champlin Police Officer Dan Irish testified about the emergency lifesaving measures he performed on Daunte Wright after the traffic stop and crash. He responded to the neighboring agency's emergency call of "shots fired" in Brooklyn Center around 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 11.
He testified that officers approached the car together, and he saw Wright slumped over and nonresponsive. Irish and fellow officers pulled Wright's body from the driver's seat onto the side of the road. He observed the primary injury as a "single gunshot wound that appeared to have entered from the left side and exited on the right side." Irish said he did not feel a pulse when he checked, and the paramedic determined Wright was dead.
Later on the stand, Brooklyn Park Police Officer Jeff Sommers testified that officers were unsure if there was a weapon in the car, so they took precaution before approaching the vehicle. Sommers said he administered oxygen and began chest compressions on the scene until the paramedic arrived and determined there was no pulse.
North Memorial ambulance operations supervisor Mike Morelock took the stand Thursday afternoon. He testified that he arrived on the scene, checked both sides of Wright's neck and found no pulse. Morelock declared Wright dead at 2:18 p.m. Time of death does not indicate when his heart stopped.
Next, North Memorial paramedic Dustin Johnson testified about his emergency response to the scene, where he provided aid to Wright's girlfriend.
The defense asks for a mistrial, Judge Chu denies motion
After the jury was dismissed for the day, the defense asked for a motion to dismiss the trial.
Kim Potter's legal team believes most of Thursday's testimony/evidence was prejudicial, involving post-shooting crash and had nothing to do with Potter's supposed taser/gun mistake during initial traffic stop. The prosecution argued the elements get to Potter's reckless behavior that day.
Judge Chu denied the motion for a mistrial.
Opening statements recap
Wednesday morning, the prosecution and the defense delivered their opening statements. After the lunch break, the state called their first witnesses including Wright's mom, Katie Bryant, and Officer Anthony Luckey, the Brooklyn Center police officer who initiated the deadly traffic stop.
Potter, 49, is charged with first-degree and second-degree manslaughter for shooting and killing 20-year-old Wright, a Black man, during a traffic stop on April 11. The defense claims the shooting was an accident, that Potter, who is white, mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her Taser when she fatally shot Wright. But, prosecutors say Potter was reckless and negligent and should go to prison.
Brooklyn Center officer recalls Wright's traffic stop
Anthony Luckey, the second witness to testify, was a Brooklyn Center police officer in field training with Potter on the day Wright was pulled over on April 11. He said that he pulled over Wright for a hanging air freshener in his car and expired tabs. Potter was his supervising field training officer.
Luckey asked Wright for his license and insurance. Wright told him he didn't have his license with him and needed to look for the insurance. He then asked for Wright's information to look him up in the system, and it showed that Wright had a warrant for prior weapons offense and harassment protection order involving unknown woman.
New bodycam video of Daunte Wright traffic stop
The state introduced new video from Luckey's squad car and body camera show his interactions with Wright during the traffic stop. The same timeframe was then shown through Potter's body camera video, which included a new perspective of her distress after shooting Wright.
The video shows moments from Potter's body cam after she shoots Wright and his car speeds off. She exclaims, "Ah s**t, I just shot him. I grabbed the wrong f**king gun. I shot him, oh my god. Oh my god." The two other officers told Potter to sit, who then crumples onto the ground while bawling. Potter's body camera video of the incident can be watched in full at the 13-minute mark of the video below.
Who are the jurors?
Fourteen jurors were seated for the Potter trial--12 jurors and two alternates. The jury is made up of seven men and seven women. Three of the jurors are people of color while the rest are white.
The following jurors have been seated on the jury:
- Juror No. 2: White man in his 50s. Works as an editor in neurology dealing with medical evidence. Testified that he has an unfavorable view of "Blue Lives Matter." Has always wanted to serve on a jury.
- Juror No. 6: White woman in her 60s. Retired special education teacher. She lost one of her four children two years ago to breast cancer.
- Juror No. 7: White man, 29 years old. Overnight operations manager at Target and bass guitar player in a local alternative rock band. Took a firearms safety class when he was a teenager.
- Juror No. 11: Asian woman in her 40s. Works in downtown Minneapolis and said she was concerned about the unrest following the killing of George Floyd.
- Juror No. 17: White woman in her 20s. Has little prior knowledge about the case or legal system.
- Juror No. 19: Black woman in her 30s. Mother of two and a teacher. Owns a gun with a permit and a Taser for personal protection.
- Juror No. 21: White man in his 40s. Father with previous experience serving on a jury.
- Juror No. 22: White man in his 60s. Registered nurse for over 25 years, currently studying to be nurse practitioner. Gun owner. He also manages properties.
- Juror No. 26: Asian woman in her 20s. She is in school and has finals and job interviews coming up, but said she was willing to serve if selected.
- Juror No. 40: White man in his 40s. Participated in the police explorers program in high school, but ultimately decided not to pursue a career in law enforcement because he was afraid of having to fire a gun.
- Juror No. 48: White woman in her 40s. Mother of 2 school-age children. Former IT project manager. Grew up on a farm outside Minnesota.
- Juror No. 55: White man in his 50s. Field engineer in cybersecurity. Navy veteran. Gun owner. Enjoys partaking in Renaissance "steel weapons fighting."
- Juror No. 57: White woman in her 70s. Mother with children in their 40s. She has served on two prior juries.
- Juror No. 58: White man in his 30s. Father of young child. Lives in Eden Prairie. He has a close friend who is a St. Paul police officer.
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