Daunte Wright's girlfriend, who was a the passenger in his car during the police encounter, is suing ex-cop Kim Potter and the city of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Alayna Albrecht-Payton, 21, is seeking $150,000 in damages for "life-altering" injuries and trauma she suffered from April 11, 2021, incident, according to ABC News.
"The bodily and mental harm that Alayna has suffered and continues to suffer are a direct and foreseeable consequence of Potter's negligent conduct," the lawsuit alleges. It also claims the city is liable for the Potter's actions while she was employed by the police department.
Albrecht-Payton was dating Wright and was a passenger in his vehicle when Potter, a Brooklyn Center police officer at the time, fatally shot him during a traffic stop. She also testified against Potter, who was convicted of manslaughter in Wright's death. The former cop was sentenced to two years in prison.
Potter pulled out her firearm instead of a Taser, fatally shooting the driver in front of Albrecht-Payton, per the lawsuit. After Potter opened fire, the Black man's vehicle reportedly lurched forward and slammed into a vehicle.
The filing says Albrecht-Payton "bore the brunt" of the crash and tried to save Wright despite her injuries. Responding officers allegedly held a bloodied Albrecht-Payton at gunpoint and handcuffed her instead of providing aid to her or Wright, according to the lawsuit. Potter broke down crying rather than help them, the document alleges.
Katie Bennett, Albrecht-Payton's lawyer, says her client suffered a broken jaw, a concussion, punctured lips, and bleeding from her ears from the incident. She required surgery for her damaged jaw and was diagnosed with several mental illnesses in the months following, including post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder, the lawsuit reads.
"It's the emotional and mental anguish from watching Daunte Wright die in front of her and this whole experience that happened, Bennett says. "Albrecht-Payton was a blameless witness to this horribly traumatic event."
Jason M. Hiveley, who's representing Brooklyn Center and Potter, told reporters he's reviewing the case.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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