Kim Potter Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For The Death Of Daunte Wright

Jury finds Kim Potter guilty in Daunte Wright’s death 5:34

(WABNEWS) — Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter was sentenced to two years in prison by a Minnesota judge Friday for fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright as she yelled “Taser” during a converted traffic stop. in arrest on April 11, 2021.

Potter was convicted in December of first-degree murder based on reckless use/handling of a firearm and second-degree murder for fatally shooting Wright.

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The sentence is a significant downward deviation from what state sentencing guidelines recommend for someone with no criminal record, like Potter. The guidelines give the judge the power to sentence offenders without a criminal record to between 6 and 8.5 years in prison, with a presumed sentence of 86 months.

The judge said there will be a $1,000 fine and a $78 surcharge to be deducted from the prison salary or paid within 180 days. He noted that Potter has the right to appeal the conviction and sentence.

Potter said he mistakenly drew his gun instead of his stun gun when he fatally shot Wright, a 20-year-old black man, during a traffic stop in April 2021.

Potter’s lawyers had argued for a lesser sentence, noting in their own documents Potter’s lack of criminal history, as well as his “obvious regret”. Potter had apologized to Wright’s family, his attorneys wrote, and did so again at his sentencing on Friday.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision,” Judge Regina Chu of Hennepin County, Minnesota, said before announcing the sentence. “In making my decision, I look at the purposes of imprisonment. There are four: retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Three of the four would not be served in this case.”

“The evidence is indisputable that the Potter police never intended to use their firearm,” Chu said.

“This case is highly unusual…This is not a police officer convicted of murder for using his knee to pin a person down for nine and a half minutes as they gasped for air,” Chu said, referring to the George Floyd case.

“I recognize that there will be those who disagree with the ruling that I granted a significant downward deviation that in no way impairs the life of Daunte Wright,” he added. “Her life mattered to her.”

“Of all the jobs in public service, police officers have the most difficult. They must make quick decisions under tense circumstances that are constantly evolving and changing. They risk their lives every day in public service. The Potter police made a mistake that ended tragically.” Chu said, pausing as he seemed to contain his emotion.

“She never meant to hurt anyone. Her conduct cries out for a sentence far below the guidelines,” Chu said.

The Wright family earlier asked Chu to give the maximum amount of time for Potter.

Daunte Wright’s mom’s heartbreaking speech 1:06 Daunte Wright’s parents’ reaction

Daunte Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters Friday that she was very disappointed with the outcome of the sentencing hearing.

“This is the problem with our justice system,” said Katie Wright. “Today, the tears of a white woman triumphed over justice.” Daunte’s father also expressed his discontent with the sentence.

“I feel cheated, I feel hurt,” Arbuey Wright, Daunte’s father, told reporters. “I am very upset because my son’s life was symbolic (sic) and it seemed to me that nobody cared enough.”

“Everyone was so tied up in her feelings, what was going on with her, referencing Potter, that they forgot they killed my son,” Abruey Wright said. “He took a life (sic) and it’s sad to say I feel like we were cheated.”

Mr. Wright said he thought he would get justice, but says he left the courthouse “feeling like people were laughing at us” and that Potter had received “a slap on the wrist”.

Potter’s words before sentencing

“To the family of Daunte Wright, I am very sorry to have brought the death of your son, father, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew and the rest of your family into your home,” Potter said in a statement in court, before being sentenced.

“Katie, I understand a mother’s love and I’m sorry I broke your heart. My heart breaks for all of you. Earlier, when you said I didn’t look at you during the trial, I don’t think I had the right to. I didn’t even have the right to be there.” in the same room with you. I’m so sorry I hurt you so much,” he told Wright’s mother directly.

“I pray for Daunte and for all of you many, many times a day. He is no more than a thought away from my heart and I have no right to that, for him to be in my heart,” he continued.

“And I pray that one day you can find forgiveness, just because hate is so destructive to all of us. And I pray that peace always be with you and your family. Once again, I am so sorry. And to the community of Brooklyn Center, I owe you all an apology. I loved working for you and am sorry for what has happened to our community since Daunte’s death. And the men and women who work for you continue to be good and honorable people and will work hard for you.” , said.

Brad Parks contributed to this report

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