BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — The girlfriend of Daunte Wright has filed a lawsuit against former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter and the city that employed her, claiming Potter's conduct left her with severe injuries and PTSD that continues more than a year after the fatal shooting.
Alayna Beth Albrecht-Payton, now 21, was in the passenger seat of Wright's vehicle the afternoon of April 11, 2021, the day Potter killed Wright following a traffic stop. The lawsuit claims that after Wright was shot, the car the couple was in rolled off and crashed with another vehicle, breaking Albrecht-Payton's jaw. Albrecht-Payton also said witnessing the shooting and watching Daunte Wright die in front of her left her with extreme emotional distress.
"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 reads.
In making their case, Albrecht-Payton's attorneys lay out the same narrative that led to Potter's conviction on charges of first and second-degree manslaughter, that with 26 years of professional experience she should have known the difference between a Taser and her service handgun.
The suit also claims that Potter put both her fellow officer and Albrecht-Payton in danger by discharging her weapon in such close proximity.
"She had reason to know, and did know, that shooting Daunte in the chest while he was seated next to a law-abiding passenger was prohibited and unlawful conduct," the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit claims Albrecht-Payton suffers lingering pain from the severe lacerations and broken jaw that happened during the crash. Her attorneys said she struggles with a now-slanted jaw and her teeth are not aligned, leaving her unable to eat or sleep. The suit also claims that seeing her boyfriend die before her eyes has left Albrecht-Payton with "psychological and emotional injuries (that) have likewise been severe, long-lasting, and life-altering."
"On top of that, it's the emotional and mental anguish from watching Daunte Wright die in front of her and this whole experience that happened," one of Albrecht-Payton's attorneys Katie Bennett said. "It's always hard, especially in cases like this where the injuries are so life-altering, and she is very young and it's a hard age to have something like this happen."
Albrecht-Payton is asking for compensatory damages from both Potter and the city of Brooklyn Center in excess of $50,000, along with legal costs.
Potter is currently serving a two-year sentence inside the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee.
Watch more on the death of Daunte Wright:
Watch the latest coverage on the death of Daunte Wright and the trial of Kim Potter in our YouTube playlist: