A jury deliberated for just over five hours Monday in the manslaughter trial of Kim Potter, the former Minnesota police officer who mistook her firearm for her Taser and fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in April. Earlier Monday, the prosecution and defense laid out their closing arguments in the case, in which Potter, who is White, faces charges of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. She has pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge argued that Potter was negligent and acted recklessly, both in the early parts of the traffic stop and in her fatal mix-up. "This was a colossal screwup," she said. "It was precisely the thing she had been warned about for years and she was trained to prevent it." The defense for the 49-year-old former Brooklyn Center police officer has characterized the killing as an unfortunate accident and argued she was within her rights to use deadly force to protect a fellow officer, who was reaching into the vehicle when Wright attempted to drive away.