Potter Trial Continues, Chauvin Pleads Guilty in Two Cases

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Police use of force expert Seth Stoughton testified that even Potter’s use of a taser on Daunte Wright would have been unreasonable. Wright's father also took the stand.

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Tiffany Bui reports:

Former police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights in federal court on Wednesday.

In a separate case, he also pleaded guilty to willfully depriving a 14-year-old boy of his right to be free from unreasonable force by a police officer. In 2017, Chauvin allegedly held him by the throat and struck him in the head several times.

Meanwhile, in the trial of Kim Potter, police use of force expert Seth Stoughton testified that even Potter’s use of a taser would have been unreasonable.

“It’s really dangerous to incapacitate, the way a taser can incapicitate, someone who is in a position to get a vehicle moving,” Stoughton said. “If the taser was ineffective … if it just caused pain … then you’re providing an incentive for someone to flee.”

Defense lawyer Paul Engh objected to Stoughton's testimony that officers did not need to arrest Wright away. He became increasingly emotional and banged on the table as he spoke to Judge Regina Chu, adding that he would possibly move for a mistrial. The defense has asked for a mistrial once before.

Defense lawyer Earl Gray asked a series of questions meant to point out that Wright was not compliant with officers.

“Mr. Wright – he’s the one who started it, correct? Nothing would have happened, except he broke away once he learned there was a warrant. Is that a fair statement?” Gray asked.

“Sure,” Staughton said.

At the end of the day, jurors heard from Daunte’s father Arbuey Wright. He talked about working with Daunte as his manager at Foot Locker, and how the two enjoyed a close relationship. The prosecution showed a photo of Daunte holding his infant son, Daunte Jr.

“To see him as a father, I was so happy for him because he was so happy about Junior. It was my chance to be a grandfather. He loved his son,” Wright said. “I love Daunte. He was loved.”

The prosecution is expected to rest on Thursday, at which point the defense will present its witnesses.

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