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Kim Potter trial: Jury returns for first full day of deliberations

Kim Potter
Posted at 4:45 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 11:41:37-05

MINNEAPOLIS — A jury will resume deliberations in the trial of Kim Potter, a former police officer who says she meant to use her Taser instead of her gun when she shot and killed Daunte Wright, a Black motorist, in a Minneapolis suburb in April.

The jury returns Tuesday after meeting for about a half-day Monday following closing arguments.

During closing arguments, prosecutors accused Potter of a "blunder of epic proportions" in Wright's death during an April 11 traffic stop — but said a mistake was no defense.

Potter's attorneys countered that Wright, who was attempting to get away from officers as they sought to handcuff him for an outstanding warrant on a weapons charge, "caused the whole incident."

Judge Regina Chu says she won't make jurors deliberate on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. They'll return after the holiday if they haven't reached a verdict by Friday.

The shooting took place in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Officers initially pulled Wright over for a traffic stop for expired tags, improper signaling and an improper air freshener in the windshield.

Body camera footage from the incident shows Wright attempting to flee the scene in his car after officers confronted him about an outstanding warrant. Video shows that Potter repeatedly yelled "Taser!" before pulling her gun and fatally shooting Wright.

Potter faces charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter.

Potter took the stand in her own defense on Friday and grew emotional as she described the events surrounding the shooting.

"It just went to chaos," she said through tears, describing the moments after shooting.

Potter also testified that she "didn't want to hurt anybody" and that she was "sorry it happened."

The shooting sparked several days of unrest in Brooklyn Center. The incident occurred as the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was in its opening days just miles down the road.

Potter resigned as a police officer in the days following the incident.