Daunte Wright's Girlfriend Tearfully Recounts How She Tried To Save Him After He Was Shot By Cop
Alayna Albrecht-Payton also apologized to Daunte Wright's mother while on the stand.
December 10, 2021 at 10:02 pm
Daunte Wright's girlfriend Alayna Albrecht-Payton tearfully took the stand Thursday morning to testify how she tried to save the life of her 20-year-old boyfriend who was shot and killed by former police officer Kim Potter.
Albrecht-Payton was overcome with emotions as she recounted the moment Potter shot Wright during a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 11, CNN reports.
Albrecht-Payton was the passenger in Wright's car when he was pulled over by Potter and rookie officer Anthony Luckey for driving with expired license plates and hanging an air freshener in his rearview mirror, which is against the law in Minnesota.
During a scuffle with Wright, Potter withdrew a firearm that she said she thought was a Taser, ultimately killing the 20-year-old, who had just become a new father.
Potter now stands trial facing charges in Hennepin County for first- and second-degree manslaughter. She has pleaded not guilty and plans to take the stand in her defense, The Independent reports.
On the second day of the trial, Albrecht-Payton mentioned to the court that she and Wright were "just at the start" of their relationship, only meeting a few weeks ago.
She recalled that Wright was "really scared" and "nervous" when the police officers approached his vehicle for a traffic stop. She said she remembers officers instructing Wright to get out of his car, but they didn't give him a reason why.
"He was really scared. Like, I’ve never seen him like that before because if you know Daunte, like, he’s just really happy, he’s positive, and you can’t really be like sad or depressed or angry or mad around him, and, like, he was just so nervous," she said while on the stand.
Albrecht-Payton said she recalls hearing a loud "boom" when Potter shot her boyfriend.
“I just remember hearing the boom, the bang of the gun, then I remember looking up and seeing another white car coming towards us and I remember lifting my head and ‘boom…,’” she continued.
She also described how she attempted to save Wright's life and tried to stop the bleeding with a belt and a piece of clothing.
“I took my belt off and I grabbed whatever was in the car, a sweater, a towel, and I put it on his chest like you see in the movies and the TV shows — I just didn’t know what to do,” Albrecht-Payton said.
“I just tried to hold it and I just tried to scream his name. I just kept saying ‘Daunte, Daunte, please say something.' He just couldn’t, I know he tried, and I know he wanted to,” she tearfully said. “I remember trying to get him up. I was the only one out of everybody there who was trying to help him, and I was trying to push on his chest and call his name and he wasn’t answering me, he was just gasping, just taking bursts of air.”
She apologized to Wright's mother, Katie Bryant, for capturing her son dying on camera while he was in the driver's seat.
“I was delirious. I was screaming, ‘They shot him, they shot him,’ and then I pointed the camera at him, and I’m so sorry I did that,” she said.
“No mom should have to see her son like that on her phone on a video call. I know how my mom felt when she couldn’t find me for hours after. I just know that I hurt her by doing that and I apologize, Katie,” she continued.
Albrecht-Payton sustained injuries including a broken jaw, lacerations and a concussion when the car drove off and crashed headfirst into another vehicle after the shooting.
When she was cross-examined, she testified that she didn't remember if the car was on or off during the ordeal, but she does know that Wright's hands were "never on the wheel."