Kim Potter trial hinges on body camera footage, legal experts say – Insider

December 22, 2021 by No Comments

  • Body-camera footage played an important role in ex-cop Kim Potter’s manslaughter trial.
  • The jury began deliberating at noon on Monday and resumed Tuesday morning.
  • Prosecutors relied on body camera footage to make their case because “video doesn’t lie,” one expert told Insider.

Prosecutors relied heavily on body camera footage to make their case in former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter’s manslaughter trial, using it to try to persuade the jury that Potter’s negligence and recklessness led to the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.

Jurors began deliberations at noon on Monday and resumed Tuesday morning. Potter faces charges of first -and second-degree manslaughter, and a prison sentence of up to 25 years if convicted on both charges.

Potter has said she meant to grab her Taser when she shot Wright during a traffic stop in April. Body camera footage played for the jury showed Potter shooting Wright in the chest while shouting the warning, “Taser!” The footage then showed Potter shout, “Shit! I shot him,” before collapsing to the ground and saying that she’s “going to prison.”

Chris Slobogin, the director of Vanderbilt University’s criminal justice program, told Insider that body camera footage is essential in prosecuting cases of police violence because “in the old days when there was a police shooting it was the cop’s word against the suspect’s, if the suspect survived.”

“Now that we have video, it would be negligible of the prosecution not to make use of it,” Slobogin said. 

Slobogin did not comment directly on Potter’s trial because he hadn’t reviewed much of the testimony at the time of the interview, but spoke generally about the use of body camera footage in trials of police officers. 

Civil rights attorney DeWitt Lacy told Insider that prosecutors used this footage “over and over again” in Potter’s case because “video doesn’t lie and this evidence is pretty clear.”

“The old adage is a picture says one-thousand words,” Lacy said. “If that’s true, then how much does a video show? Maybe a million.” 

Potter’s emotional testimony in her defense raised the stakes for prosecutors

According to Slobogin, “usually, cops’ testimony is going to be self-serving,” so it’s crucial for prosecutors to use body camera footage in trials of police officers.

Potter broke down when called to the witness stand, at one point shouting, “I’m sorry it happened” and testifying, “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”

Dr. Ziv Cohen, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, said that Potter’s defense team would’ve anticipated that her testimony would be emotional when deciding …….



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