The woman who was sitting next to Daunte Wright when he was shot and killed last year has filed suit against the police officer who shot him and the city of Brooklyn Center.
Alayna Albrecht-Payton, now 21, was Wright's girlfriend and suffered physical and psychological injuries in the April 11, 2021, incident, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in State District Court in Hennepin County. She's seeking a financial judgment against the city and now-former Officer Kimberly Potter.
Wright was fatally shot by Potter — who said she mistook her gun for her Taser — during a traffic stop; the vehicle then crashed nearby. The lawsuit says Albrecht-Payton, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered a broken jaw and a concussion — along with the emotional trauma of watching Wright die from a gunshot wound.
"The shooting and the injuries Alayna sustained as a result have significantly impacted Alayna’s normal daily living and enjoyment of life. Alayna continues to experience stress and anxiety regarding interactions with the police," the lawsuit states. "She feels heightened nervousness around law-enforcement officials and fears being the target of future police violence."
Grow the Future of Public Media
MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!
Albrecht-Payton is "haunted every day by the trauma of watching Daunte die, helpless to save him," the lawsuit states.
The Associated Press reported that Jason Hiveley, from the law firm Iverson Reuvers, is the attorney representing Potter and the city.
“Because this matter is in active litigation, we are unable to say much other than we are in the process of reviewing Ms. Albrecht-Payton’s medical records and evaluating our legal defenses. We anticipate filing a Motion for Summary Judgment once depositions are complete,” Hiveley said in a statement, according to the AP.
Potter is serving a two-year prison sentence after being convicted of manslaughter late last year for Wright’s death.
Attorneys for Wright's family announced in June that they reached a $3.25 million settlement with the city of Brooklyn Center.