The trial of former Minnesota police officer who mistook her Taser for a gun during a traffic stop and killed Daunte Wright, has just turned a new corner after a rookie cop on the scene testified that claims Wright reached for a weapon or made any threatening moves against shooting officer Kim Potter were not true.
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 he never saw the 20-year-old reach for a gun, KTSP-TV reported.
Luckey, who stood in as the state’s second witness, noted that he was in the second phase of the four-phase field training program, and his fifth shift with Potter.
The officer testified that Potter yelled, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” — a procedure required to allow their partners to step away — but before he could move, the now-former officer’s gun went off. Luckey claimed that he was so close to Potter when she fired her weapon that the casing hit him in the face as it discharged and that his hands were still on Wright even as the bullet hit the young man.
As previously reported, Wright was pulled over by authorities for a traffic stop last April because his license plates were expired, and for having an air freshener hanging in the car’s rearview mirror. Luckey said they also discovered that Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant for a weapons charge during the exchange.
After making their way back to the car to return his ID, Luckey, Potter and Sgt. Michael Johnson informed Wright that he was being arrested on a warrant. When Luckey went to handcuff the young man, he reportedly tensed up and moved his arm.
The report claimed that despite being warned “Don’t do it, bro” by Luckey, Wright got into his car. As he tried to get Wright back out, Potter said she’d tase him. Luckey said Wright grabbed the steering wheel and was trying to drive away, but didn’t have control of the vehicle when Potter yelled and then fired her gun.
In court, Luckey said his “intuition” told him to pull the young man over because of the “behavior of the vehicle,” the Daily Mail reported. The officer claimed Wright’s right blinker had been on despite him being in a left-turn lane, and that he was driving in a “high crime area” that is “known for a lot of shootings.”
When asked by Matthew Frank, the assistant Minnesota attorney general who also led the prosecution of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, Luckey confirmed that Wright never reached for a weapon, struck him or made any threatening moves toward him.
Potter resigned less than a week following the incident. Former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also stepped down. She was later booked into the Hennepin County Jail and charged with second-degree manslaughter. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
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