Former officer Kim Potter breaks down on the stand as she recalls 'chaotic' Daunte Wright shooting

  • Ex-Minnesota police officer Kim Potter took the witness stand on Friday in her trial over the killing of Daunte Wright.

  • Potter faces first- and second-degree manslaughter charges in the April 11, 2021 shooting.

  • She fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop. Potter has said she intended to grab her Taser.

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter broke down in tears on the witness stand on Friday as she testified in her trial over the shooting death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.

"It just went chaotic," an emotional Potter told the 12-person Hennepin County District Court jury as she recounted the April 11, 2021 killing of Wright.

"I remember yelling, 'Taser, Taser, Taser,' and nothing happened and then [another cop] told me I shot him," she said before bursting into tears and holding her head in her hands.

Potter, 49, testified in her own defense at her trial, where she faces first- and second-degree manslaughter charges. The 26-year veteran cop — who is white and has since resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department — fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb.

Potter, who has pleaded not guilty to both charges, has said that she intended to grab her Taser, which was holstered on the opposite side of her body, when she shot Wright in the chest. Body-camera footage previously played in court for jurors shows Potter shout, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" before she shoots Wright as he tries to sit down in the driver's seat of his vehicle.

Shortly afterward, the footage shows Potter say, "Shit! I shot him!" before collapsing to the ground, screaming and saying, "I'm going to prison."

While under questioning by defense attorney Earl Gray, Potter said she did not remember saying that she was going to prison.

Potter again erupted into tears on the stand while body-camera footage of the incident was played frame-by-frame for the jury during cross-examination.

The former cop appeared so visibly shaken that Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu called a break for lunch.

Potter testified earlier Friday that she remembered former Sgt. Mychal Johnson — who had responded to the scene that April day — with "a look of fear on his face" amid a struggle with Wright moments before the shooting.

"It's nothing I've seen before," she said of Johnson's reaction.

Potter's defense is hinging a large part of its argument on the fact that Johnson was leaning into the car from the passenger side seconds before the shooting. Johnson previously testified that he would have been "probably dragged," and possibly killed, if Wright succeeded in fleeing the traffic stop while he was inside the car.

Potter told the jury that she and another trainee officer initially pulled Wright over for expired license plate tags and an air freshener hanging in the rearview mirror. After they pulled Wright over, they found that Wright had a warrant for a misdemeanor weapons violation, Potter said.

"Sgt. Johnson and [Officer Anthony] Luckey told [Wright] he was under arrest and I told him he had a warrant," Potter said, adding earlier that Luckey "wanted to stop the vehicle."

Potter faces a prison sentence of up to 25 years if she's convicted on both charges.

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