MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Taking the witness stand Thursday in the trial of Minneapolis Police Officer Efrem Hamilton was the group of friends inside the car he shot at. Five of the six friends gave their testimony.
Driver Caylea Wade testified she was terrified. Police had ordered her to back her car away from the scene of a separate fight and gunfire outside a downtown Minneapolis nightclub.
She detailed the collision with Hamilton’s squad and the officer’s bullet that subsequently tore into the back end of her car.
Caylea’s mom listened to her daughter’s testimony. She told Fox 9 she is still shaken by what could have happened.
“One millimeter either way - bullet would have gone through her head and probably other passenger, I believe, was going through two people’s heads,” said Odyssey Wade, Caylea’s mother.
Fortunately, none of the six in the car were hurt that night.
Hamilton’s defense team attacked the friends’ statements on cross examination. Caylea admitted to drinking and smoking pot in the hours before the shooting.
Jurors also got to see crime scene photos from the incident. The question they will have to answer is whether or not Hamilton was justified when he jumped out of his squad and fired, fearing that he was in grave danger at a chaotic late-night scene.
Odyssey Wade hopes the case gets police to re-think their training techniques.
“I’m not a police officer, but I don’t see any justification shooting any vehicle,” said Odyssey Wade. “Would’ve trained properly, maybe he wouldn’t have done that.”
The prosecution is moving through its case swiftly. Friday that the jury will likely get to see officer Hamilton's body camera footage. It was apparently rolling during the encounter as was his squad dash cam.
The trial is expected to continue into next week.