‘I’m So Sorry’: Former Police Officer Kim Potter Weeps Under Grilling By Prosecutors
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14: (EDITORS NOTE: Best quality available) In this handout provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter poses for a mugshot at the Hennepin County Jail on April 14, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Potter, a 26-year police veteran, was charged with with second-degree manslaughter in the death 20-year-old Daunte Wright who she shot and killed following a traffic stop.
Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

Former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer Kim Potter broke down and apologized while testifying in her trial over the shooting death of Daunte Wright in April.

Potter, 49, became emotional multiple times on the stand, first while recounting the incident to her defense attorney. She broke down at least two more times while being grilled by prosecuting attorney Erin Eldridge over the events of April 11, once just before a lunch recess was called and once more just before Eldridge concluded her first cross examination of Potter.

During the latter exchange, Potter wept, exclaiming that she is “sorry” for killing Wright, a 20-year-old black man. “I’m sorry it happened. I’m so sorry,” Potter said while burying her face in her hands.

Erin Eldridge: You’d agree that, as a police officer, you have the duty to render aid and communicate information to other officers, right?

Kim Potter: Yes.

EE: And it’s part of your job to assist those who are hurt or injured. True?

KP: Yes.

EE: And to communicate to other officers what you know about a particular scene, right?

KP: Yes.

EE: Give them whatever information you can to help them do their jobs to help render assistance, things like that. Right?

KP: Yes.

EE: But you didn’t do any of those things on April 11, did you?

KP: No.

EE: You stopped doing your job completely. You didn’t communicate what happened over the radio, right?

KP: No.

EE: You didn’t make sure any officers knew what you had just done, right?

KP: No.

EE: You didn’t run down the street and try to save Daunte Wright’s life, did you?

KP: No.

EE: You didn’t check on the other car that had been hit, did you?

KP: No.

EE: That all happened just down the road from you.

KP: Yes.

EE: You were focused on what you had done because you had just killed somebody.

KP: I’m sorry it happened. I’m so sorry.

EE: Mrs. Potter, from your reaction today and your reaction on your video, you didn’t plan to use deadly force that day, did you?

KP: No.

Potter first cried during her testimony when recounting to her defense attorney the moment she fatally shot Wright while he was attempting to flee officers:

I remember a struggle with officer Luckey and the driver at the door. The driver was trying to get back into the car. … I went around officer Luckey as they were trying to get back in the door, in between the door and officer Luckey and the driver, and the driver is getting into the car. … They’re still struggling and I can see Sergeant Johnson and the driver struggling over the gear shift because I can see Johnson’s hand, and then I can see his face. … He had a look of fear on his face. It’s nothing I’d seen before. … We were struggling. We were trying to keep him from driving away. It just went chaotic. And then I remember yelling ‘Taser! Taser! Taser!’ and nothing happened and then he told me I shot him.

She stopped speaking and covered her face with her hands before reaching for tissues to dab her eyes.

After she concluded her testimony, her defense team rested its case. Judge Regina Chu gave brief instructions to the jury to avoid discussing the case or reading reports of the trial over the weekend before dismissing them until Monday morning for closing arguments.

Potter is facing charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter. Potter faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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