A prosecutor has told the manslaughter trial of a Minnesota police officer who killed Daunte Wright that Kim Potter violated her training and “betrayed a 20-year-old kid”.
rosecutor Erin Eldridge began her opening statement by telling jurors that a police officer’s fundamental duty is to protect the sanctity of life.
She said officers promise to safeguard lives, preserve and protect, and maintain calm.
“We trust them to know wrong from right, and left from right,” Ms Eldridge said. “This case is about an officer who knew not to get it dead wrong, but she failed to get it right.”
Once Potter’s lawyers begin their defence, they are expected to claim that Wright made an innocent mistake by pulling her handgun instead of her Taser when she shot Wright in April as he tried to drive away from a traffic stop.
Wright’s Taser was holstered on her left side, and her handgun on her right. Prosecutors argue that she was trained explicitly about the danger of avoiding deadly mix-ups.
Potter is white and Wright was black. The shooting led to protests in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center for days just as former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was on trial over George Floyd’s death.
It took almost a week to seat a jury that turned out to be mostly white.