Daunte Wright’s girlfriend has described his final moments in an emotion testimony.
It comes as the former police officer, Kim Potter, who shot dead twenty-year-old Daunte Wright stands trial for her actions.
Scroll on to find out more.
The incident took place in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, on Sunday, April 11th.
Daunte Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation and was found to have an outstanding arrest warrant.
However, Wright attempted to escape as the police officers were handcuffing him…
And, instead of pulling out her taser, Officer Kim Potter “accidentally” pulled out her handgun and proceeded to shoot Wright in the chest.
Wright sped away in his car but only made it for a few blocks due to his gunshot wound.
Tragically, he died shortly afterwards.
As the news of his death broke, people from all across the country spoke out.
They spoke out of both horror and outrage at the incident.
In the days following the tragic event, hundreds of people defied the curfew and gathered at the Brooklyn Center police station in protest of Wright’s untimely death.
But sadly, it didn’t take long for things to turn violent.
Officers in riot gear fired gas canisters and flash-bang grenades after some demonstrators threw bottles and other objects at the station…
And the anger and emotion in the air was undeniable.
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, was also present at the protest.
She later revealed to KARE 11 that she was on the phone with her son as he got pulled over and heard the “scuffle.”
“A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she put it on the driver’s side, and my son was laying there, lifeless. My heart is broken into a thousand pieces… I miss him so much, and it’s only been a day. He was my life, he was my son and I can never get that back. Because of a mistake? Because of an accident?”
Kim Potter, a twenty-six-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was immediately placed on administrative leave following the incident.
Defending Potter, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters he believes she had meant to reach for her taser but instead grabbed her gun.
“This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon said, as per BuzzFeed News.
Regardless of his support, however, Potter handed in her resignation days after the incident.
She wrote a letter to Mayor Mike Elliott, City Manager Reggie Edwards, and Police Chief Tim Gannon, saying: “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”
And, just one day on from that…
She was formally charged with second-degree manslaughter.
The charging decision came at the end of what Washington County Attorney Pete Orpu described as a “thorough yet expedited” investigation into the shooting by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
A second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Her bail was set at $100,000, though she paid this and was released to await her court date from home.
Potter’s trial began 2 days ago on December 8.
One the first day the court saw opening statements with the assistant Minnesota Attorney General, Erin Eldridge, delivering the opening statement on behalf of the state, CNN reports.
Then yesterday, on the second day of the trial, the court saw Alayna Albrecht-Payton, Wrights girlfriend, testify in the trial.
In a very emotional testimony, twenty-year-old Albrecht-Payton, described her final moments with Wright.
Albrecht-Payton told the court that she had just recently started a relationship with Wright when he was killed.
“We were never really official because we didn’t get the chance to,” she said, CNN reports.
Albrecht-Payton testified that Wright was “scared” when they were pulled over by police.
She said that although he didn’t want to get out of the car at first, he did follow the officers’ instructions.
“He was really scared. I’d never seen him like that before,” she testified while sobbing. “If you know Daunte, he’s just really happy and positive and you can’t be sad or depressed or angry around him. He was just so nervous and flustered.”
Albrecht-Payton said that Wright had been on the phone to his mom until he attempted to flee the scene.
Just seconds after the shooting, his mom called him back and Albrecht-Payton answered the video call, BuzzFeed reports.
“I was delirious, I was just screaming, ‘they just shot him, they just shot him,'” she said.
She also described to the court her attempts to save Wright.
“[He] wasn’t answering me and he was just gasping,” she said. “I grabbed whatever was in the car. I don’t remember if it was a sweater or a towel or a blanket or, I just grabbed whatever and put it on his chest like you see in movies and TV shows.”
Noting that she replays the images in her head daily, Albrecht-Payton added:
“I didn’t know what to do, so I just put my hands over his chest and tried to hold [the wound] and tried to scream his name. I just tried to have him talk to me.”
She explained that she “kept saying, ‘Daunte, Daunte, just say something please, just talk to me,'” though he didn’t respond.
“And he just couldn’t, I know he tried, I know he wanted to,” she said.
Potter has pleaded not guilty to both charges of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter.