Kim Potter, a former Minnesota police officer, oddly smiles in her booking photo after being found guilty for the murder of Daunte Wright on April 11, 2021. She was found guilty on both counts of manslaughter, culpable negligence; and a misdemeanor on Thursday, after 28 hours of deliberation from the jury. Lots of people were projecting that it would be a hung jury; becasue no one could figure out what the hold up was. However, the verdict was unanimously agreed to at 10:30 am on December 21, 2021.
Moreover, the 12 person jury was stuck on the manslaughter 1 conviction; nevertheless they finally came to a conclusion Thursday morning.
What Led To The Shooting of Daunte Wright
Potter says she mistook her gun for the taser when Daunte Wright struggled with one of the officers on April 11, after being stopped for an air freshener and later finding out he had a warrant for his arrest. Potter was training another officer that day, during the traffic stop. She claimed she would not have stopped Wright if she were alone, since we were in the middle of a pandemic; and the rules had been slighted due to COVID.
But since she was trying to train properly, she stopped Wright because of the air freshener and ran his tags which revealed he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. At that point another officer was called on to the scene, since Potter and the trainee were considered one officer. Protocol is that there should be two officers present when taking a suspect into custody. So the other officer was called onto the scene and ended up in a physicial struggle with Wright when attempting to arrest him.
Kim Potter Mistook Her Gun For Her Taser
Potter claims she saw the frightened look on her colleagues face and wanted to cease the confusion. So she yelled ‘Taser Taser’, however without looking she reached for her gun and shot and killed Daunte Wright.
His death occured just blocks from where George Floyd was murdered, so this tragedy has received major attention; resulting in protests and controversy.
Potter immediately removed her gold, cross necklace from around her neck after she received her sentencing.
Although the former officer appeared extremely remorseful during her testimony in the trial, the tears didn’t work this time. It seems that unfortunately she was made to be the example to other police officers to be more cautious and to stop killing people frivously. And unfortunately this was her first time ever firing her weapon in her 26 years as an officer.
After much back and forth between the attorneys on schedule conflictions, they settled on a sentencing date of Friday, February 18 at 9am. After Judge Regina Chu told the court they would be taking Ms. Potter into custody without bail, her defense attorney asked to approach the bench in regard to the bail issue before she was arrested. Judge Chu said she was willing to listen. He approached the podium and told the judge they’d be filing a motion for dispositional departure in the case.
DA Request Judge Regina Chu To Not Take Potter Into Custody Until Her Sentencing
“Her remorse and regret for the incident is overwhelming; she’s not a danger to the public whatsoever. She’s made all her court appearances including all appearances in the court. It is the Christmas holiday season she’s a devoted Catholic no less. And there is no point to incarcarate her at this point in time because A., you haven’t decided what the sentence is going to be, B., the dispositional departure arguments are quite strong on this case and C., it’s not necessary for the preservation of public safety”.fox 9
He continues “So for those reasons she should not be incarcerated pending sentencing. You certainly can do it after sentencing but this is a rather unique case of someone who has law enforcement experience and was never in trouble in all her life and is 49 which is beyond the age of most of the defendants that you see, plus she has deep roots in the community and her family is here. And there is no evidence that she would flee, so we respectfully ask you to change your mind, as to whether she needs to be incarcerated right now”.fox 9
Bail was posted at $100,000. Then prosecution rebutted saying she doesnt live in the state and to take her in since it is customary that she be remanded into custody.
The Judge Doesn’t Budge On The Request From The DA
The judge required she be taken into custody and held without bail. She cannot treat this case any differently. You can see people outside the Hannegan County courthouse with signs. Someone shouted out in the courtroom “LOVE YOU KIM” she replied, “love you”. Crowds reacted to the verdict, saying Daunte Wrights name. Jury was hung on manslaughter 1 since Tuesday morning. However oddly, when Daunte’s father was asked outside the courtroom how he felt about Kim Potter, he said, “I wanna thank her”.
Roughly 2 yrs before Daunte Wright’s death, Kim Potter was involved in another deadly shooting by cop. She instructed the officers who shot Kobe Dimock-Heisler to turn off their body cams. Is that really proper protocol?! We can NOT let this continue! 🎥: @bygeorgiafort pic.twitter.com/5nsweDBSpL— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 20, 2021