A judge overseeing the trial of former officer Kimberly Potter will allow Daunte Wright's father to watch the trial before he is called to testify.
Judge Regina Chu approved the motion filed by the prosecution earlier Thursday, asking her to reconsider sequestering Daunte Wright's father, Aubrey Wright, according to documents filed in Hennepin County District Court. Allowing Aubrey Wright to observe the trial will not influence his testimony, Attorney General Keith Ellison argued.
Potter shot and killed Wright, who was 20 years old, during a traffic stop April 11 while attempting to arrest him. The shooting led to days of protests during the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Aubrey Wright will be a witness for the "limited purpose of providing spark-of-life testimony" and would not provide testimony in the fatal shooting of his son, according to Ellison. He is also a victim in the trial and has a right to be informed, Ellison argued.
The prosecution plans on calling on Aubrey Wright to testify toward the end of the trial and, if he were sequestered, he would not be able to see much of the trial.
"As a father who lost his young son, Mr. Wright has a strong interest in being present throughout the trial," according to the motion. "Mr. Wright's role as a witness in this trial will be limited to providing spark-of-life testimony to share with the jury who his son Daunte was to him and who Daunte was as a human being."
The state Supreme Court allows "spark-of-life" testimony to show the victim as a living person, not merely a faceless victim.
Potter filed a memorandum in October that included a request that Wright's parents be permitted to watch the trial only after they testified.
Police said Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, mistook her gun for her Taser when she shot Wright as he attempted to get back into his vehicle during an arrest.
Potter, who is free on $100,000 bond, is charged with one count each of first- and second-degree manslaughter. Her trial is set for Nov. 30.