On Thursday, a Minneapolis jury convicted former police officer Kim Potter of manslaughter. Potter shot motorist Daunte Wright with her gun which she claims she thought was her Taser.
Former Police Officer Kim Potter Guilty of 1st and 2nd Degree Manslaughter
Potter, the former Brooklyn Center officer, did not show any emotion when the jury read the verdict. The Hennepin County jury found her guilty of first-degree manslaughter.
This means she improperly used “such force and violence” that can cause death or great bodily harm during her encounter with Wright.
Throughout the ordeal, Potter maintained the death was accidental. She claimed that she accidentally used her service firearm when she meant to use her Taser.
The jury also found Potter guilty of second-degree manslaughter. This required determining that Potter committed “culpable negligence” that created unreasonable risk.
The jury needed more than a day of deliberations to come up with a decision. As a result, the 49-year old Potter faces a maximum of 15 years in person. She will undergo sentencing on February 18.
Degree of Accountability
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison gave his comments on the verdict outside the courtroom. “We have a degree of accountability for Daunte’s death,” he said.
“Accountability is not justice. … Justice is beyond the reach that we have in this life for Daunte. But accountability is an important step, a critical, necessary step on the road to justice for us all,” he said.
Katie Bryant, Wright’s mother, cried as the jury read their verdicts. Assistant Attorney General Erin Eldridge, the lead prosecutor, acknowledged Wright’s parents.
Bryant thanked the prosecuting team and community supporters for helping her fight for Wright’s justice. “The moment that we heard ‘guilty' on manslaughter one, emotions — every single emotion that you could imagine — just running through your body at that moment,” Bryant said.
“I kind of let out a yelp because it was built up in the anticipation of what was to come while we were waiting for the last few days,” she added.
Kim Potter Taken Into Custody With Bail Revoked
Presiding judge Regina Chu ordered Potter into custody. She also ordered the defendant’s bail revoked. Potter’s defense attorney objected to the order.
However, Chu said Potter is looking at a long time in prison. ”I am going to require that she be taken into custody and held without bail,” she said. Chu added that “I cannot treat this case any differently than any other case.”
During the proceedings, Kim Potter remained emotionally subdued. Apart from one time where she crossed herself, she never did display any reaction to the verdict.
Once the jury finished announcing their decision, the sheriffs handcuffed Potter and took her away.
Sympathy For Potter
Ellison admitted feeling sympathy for Potter. However, he said that even with the conviction, Potter can still talk to her family and receive them for visits. For the victim, “the Wrights won't be able to talk to Daunte.”
Meanwhile, defense attorney Earl Gray insisted on the accidental death angle. “She’s not going to run,” Gray stated.
He said that the events changed her client, who will obviously not commit any more crimes. “She’s been convicted of an accident. She’s been convicted of being reckless,” he said.
Watch the Lost Angeles Times news video reporting that Kim Potter was found guilty of manslaughter in Daunte Wright’s death:
What do you think of the verdict against former officer Kim Potter? Do you believe her when she said Wright’s death was an accident?
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