‘The Facts Really Aren’t Disputed’: The Key Points To Be Made In Kim Potter Trial’s Closing Arguments

20December 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The fate of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter will soon be in the hands of a jury.

Potter is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on April 11. Potter said she meant to grab her Taser instead of her handgun.

WCCO spoke Sunday with legal analyst Joe Tamburino about which key points will likely stand out to the jury when they’re making their decision.

He says one of the prosecutions strongest witnesses was Seth Stoughton, a police officer-turned professor who testified that even Potter’s intention of using her Taser on Wright would be excessive force.

“A reasonable officer in officer in Potter’s position would not have concluded that there was an eminent threat of death or great bodily harm, and thus that the use of deadly force was excessive,” Stoughton said.

Kim Potter (credit: CBS)

The defense had psychologist Lawrence Miller, who said Potter acted with “action error,” which is when someone resorts to a more common behavior.

But the defense’s star witness was Potter on Friday, who gave an emotional testimony, telling jurors she was sorry, and that the traffic stop just went “chaotic.”

“I remember yelling ‘Taser! Taser! Taster!’ and nothing happened. And then [Wright] told me I shot him,” Potter said.

One of the state’s witnesses was Maj. Mychal Johnson, formerly Potter’s supervisor on April 11. He testified he could have been hurt during the struggle with Wright, and said her use of force was justified.

Court will resume Monday at 9 a.m. for closing arguments. The jury will be sequestered after that, until they reach a verdict.

“The facts really aren’t disputed. Everybody agrees to the facts. Everything’s on video, you can hear everything,” Tamburino said. “It’s really gonna be a matter of how that jury decides whether or not Ms. Potter was reckless.”

The prosecution will have the last word in closing arguments, with the chance for a rebuttal to the defense.

Tamburino says he believes there will be a verdict before the holiday weekend.

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