Police officer who shot Daunte Wright sentenced

A Minnesota judge called the case “one of the saddest” in her entire career

Former Minnesota police officer Kimberly Potter, who was found guilty on manslaughter charges after accidentally killing Daunte Wright, was sentenced on Friday to a total of 24 months.

Potter, 49, who served in the police force for more than 25 years, fatally shot Wright in April last year at a traffic stop in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

A video of the incident shows Potter, who was training another officer working that day, yelling the word “Taser” multiple times before shooting Wright with her handgun. “I grabbed the wrong f**king gun, and I shot him,” she was filmed saying.

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File photo: A Black Lives Matter protest in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after police officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright, April 16, 2021.
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The former police officer was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter in December. Potter will serve 16 months of the 24-month sentence in prison and will be on supervised release for the remainder.

Before her sentencing at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Potter, who is the mother of two sons, addressed the Wright family, in particular, Daunte’s mother.

Katie, I understand a mother’s love, and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you,” she said.

The victim’s mother, however, pleaded with judge Regina Chu to hand Potter the longest jail term possible.

I’m asking you to hold the defendant to the highest accountability,” Katie Wright told the judge, adding that she would never forgive Potter.

Katie Wright during a sentencing hearing on February 18, 2022 © AP / Court TV Pool

Chu, also emotional, confessed that Wright’s case had been “one of the saddest cases” of her 20-year-long career. 

Here, everybody agrees, and the evidence is undisputed, that officer Potter never intended to use her firearm,” Chu said, explaining the sentence, which was much shorter than the seven years requested earlier this month by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.

The tragedy happened during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, the incident that set off the months-long riots across the US and Black Lives Matter movement around the world.

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