Police Expert: Kim Potter Wasn’t Justified In Shooting Daunte Wright

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A police expert on the use of force testified Wednesday, Dec. 15 that ex-Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Kimberly Potter wasn’t justified in shooting Daunte Wright during an April traffic stop.

“The use of deadly force was not appropriate and the evidence suggests a reasonable officer in Officer Potter’s position could not have believed it was proportional to the threat at the time,” Seth Stoughton, a University of South Carolina Law professor, testified.

Stoughton previously worked as a peace officer and testified as a use of force expert during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who was convicted of murdering George Floyd.

Defense attorneys have admitted that Potter made a mistake in pulling her gun on the 20-year-old, instead of her taser, but that even if she did mean to shoot Wright, she would’ve been justified because of the threat he posed to her partner.

Stoughton was asked on the stand if it would’ve been reasonable for an officer in Potter’s position to use deadly force if they knew that yelling “Taser” would’ve prompted their partner to move away from the car.

No, it would not have been proportional because there is no longer an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm,” he said.

In graphic bodycam footage of the incident, Potter can be heard yelling, “Taser!” while pulling out her firearm.

To justify deadly force, Stoughton added, a reasonable officer in Potter’s position would have had to know that her partner was at risk of getting dragged and stopping the driver was the only way to prevent it.

Potter is facing first- and second-degree manslaughter charges.

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