Errors By MN Trainer Potter Preceded Wright Shooting

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 6:41am

A Minnesota jury is deliberating manslaughter charges against former Brooklyn Center, Mn., police officer Kim Potter in the April 11 killing of Daunte Wright, 20, who was pulled over for having expired license tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror, the Associated Press reports. Potter was training a newer officer, Anthony Luckey. She testified that if she had been alone, she “most likely” wouldn’t have pulled over Wright. Potter said Luckey wanted to make the stop. Policing experts agree that it’s good for trainees to interact often with the public, but using traffic violations as a way to check for more serious lawbreaking — criticized by some as "pretext stops" — has come under scrutiny, especially because such stops have led to the deaths of Black people in recent years.

When attempting to handcuff Wright, Luckey made the mistake of not moving the suspect away from the open car door, so Wright got loose and got behind the wheel. Police experts say Potter should have intervened as soon as Luckey made that error. Once Wright jumped into his car, the situation became chaotic, with Potter pulling her handgun while yelling, “I’ll tase you! I’ll tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” Ryan Getty, a professor at California State University at Sacramento who has specialized in developing police field training, questioned whether Potter was even qualified to be a field training officer because she made the fatal error of grabbing her handgun instead of a Taser.

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