The trial of a former Minnesota police officer who killed Daunte Wright after mistaking her Taser for a gun during a traffic stop has taken a fresh turn after a rookie cop on the scene testified that Wright did not grasp for a weapon or make any threatening actions against shooting officer Kim Potter.
According to KTSP-TV, Anthony Luckey, a newly hired officer on the Brooklyn Center police squad, told jurors in court on Wednesday, Dec. 8, that he was training with Potter at the time of the shooting and that the 20-year-old never reached for a pistol.
Luckey, who served as the state’s second witness, said he was in the second part of a four-phase field training program and on his fifth shift with Potter.
Potter cried, “Taser! Taser!” — a protocol necessary to let their companions walk away — but before he could move, the now-former cop’s gun went off, according to the officer. Luckey testified that he was so close to Potter when she fired her weapon that the casing impacted him in the face and that his hands were still on Wright when the bullet struck him.
Last April, authorities pulled Wright over for a traffic stop because his license plates were expired and an air freshener was hanging in the car’s rearview mirror, as previously reported. During the interaction, Luckey claimed they discovered Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant for a weapons allegation.
Luckey, Potter, and Sgt. Michael Johnson informed Wright that he was being detained on a warrant after returning to his car to retrieve his ID. Luckey apparently tightened up and moved his arm as he attempted to handcuff the young man.
Despite Luckey’s warning “Don’t do it, bro,” according to the complaint, Wright got into his car. Potter threatened to tase Wright as he sought to get him out. Wright allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and attempted to drive away, but was unable to do so when Potter shrieked and fired her gun, according to Luckey.
According to the Daily Mail, Luckey said in court that his “intuition” urged him to pull the young guy over because of his vehicle’s “behavior.” Wright’s right blinker was on despite being in a left-turn lane, according to the officer, and he was driving in a “high crime area” known for “a lot of shootings.”
Luckey affirmed that Wright never reached for a weapon, struck him, or made any menacing motions toward him when questioned by Matthew Frank, the associate Minnesota attorney general who also headed the prosecution of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin.
Potter resigned from her position less than a week after the incident. Tim Gannon, the former Brooklyn Center Police Chief, has also resigned. She was then arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter in the Hennepin County Jail. If convicted, she may face a sentence of up to ten years in prison.