Former police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright while stopping traffic was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday, far less than the roughly seven-year standard for manslaughter, after a judge said clemency was warranted because the officer intended to shoot her Taser, not her gun. that.
jury convict former officer, Kimberly Potter, on two counts of manslaughter in December. They discovered she acted recklessly by shooting a bullet in Mr. Wright’s chest after warning that she would stun him and scream. : “Taser! Electric gun! Electric gun!”
Grandma. – old black man. She has been jailed since her guilty verdict on December 23.
Judge Regina M. Chu convicted Ms. Potter only on the most serious charge, first-degree manslaughter, under Minnesota law. State sentencing guidelines list the offense with a presumptive penalty of a little more than seven years in prison, although the maximum penalty is 15 years. Judge Chu said the case was far from most manslaughter, as well as other high-profile murders by police.
“This is not an officer convicted of murder for using his knee to pin a person for nine and a half minutes while he was gasping for air,” the judge said, referring to Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis officer, who was convicted of killing George Floyd. She added: “This is a cop who made a tragic mistake. She pulled out a gun, thinking it was a Taser, and ended up killing a young man.”
Judge Chu delivered the sentence shortly after Ms Potter sobbed while apologizing to Mr. Wright’s family in court on Friday.
Mrs Potter said: “I’m sorry I brought your son’s death. Speaking directly to Mr. Wright’s mother, she said: “Katie, I understand a mother’s love and I’m sorry for breaking your heart. My heart breaks for all of you.”
Relatives of Mr. Wright said they were outraged by the two-year sentence Ms. Potter received.
Daunte Wright’s father, Arbuey Wright, held back tears as he described feeling cheated and hurt. He said the judge seemed more interested in Ms Potter than Mr. Wright and his family.
“They were so attached to her feelings and what was happening to her that they forgot about my son being killed,” he said. “We really think we’re going to get a little bit of justice.”
Ben Crump, the attorney representing the Wright family, said many people have been given longer prison sentences for selling marijuana.
One of Ms Potter’s lawyers, Paul Engh, said he was grateful Ms Potter had “shown mercy”.
Rarely are police officers convicted and sentenced to prison for murder. And the prosecution is unusual in the few cases where officers have stated they think they fired their duties.
In 15 previous cases in the past two decades in which officers said they misplaced their weapons, three people have been convicted for a crime, including two officers who fired fatal shots. Johannes Mehserle, a transit officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant III at a train station in Oakland, California, in 2009. sentenced to two years in prison. Robert Bates, volunteer deputy sheriff in Tulsa, Okla., was sentenced to four years in prison after he shot and killed a man while attempting to shoot his Taser.
Prosecutors in the office of Keith Ellison, the Minnesota attorney general, have suggested that they would ask Judge Zhou to sentence Ms. Potter to a prison sentence that exceeds the standard sentencing range of 6.2 to 8. 6 years, but in a new court filing this week, they instead said a sentence in that range would be appropriate.
Ms Potter’s lawyers asked the judge to sentence Ms Potter to probation, arguing she would be a “walking target” in prison and demanding the prosecution’s sentencing be “a political statement.”
Mr Engh said at Friday’s sentencing hearing that Ms Potter had suffered “a decline in her mental and physical health” for nearly two months and that she had been held in solitary confinement for fear she would be attacked. .
More about Daunte Wright’s Murder
Mr. Wright’s parents and siblings asked Judge Chu to sentence Ms. Potter to the maximum extent possible.
“Daunte means the whole world to me,” Arbuey Wright told the court before sentencing. “He is handsome, he is my son, he is my prince. Daunte is my excuse. He is my reason to do better. ”
Chyna Whitaker, mother of Daunte Wright’s 2-year-old son, Daunte Jr., said she became a single mother “not by choice but by compulsion” and that Ms. Potter took “something away” best” by Daunte Jr. friend away from him. ”
Potter will most likely be released from prison in about 14 months, in April 2023. Under Minnesota law, inmates are usually released on supervised release after they’ve served two-thirds of their sentence. , and Ms. Potter will be credited for the 58 days she has been in custody since her conviction.
Prosecutors in Ms Potter’s case admitted that the April 11 shooting was a mistake and that moments after she opened fire, video camera footage captured her screaming that she had wielded the wrong weapon. gas and fell to the ground in tears.
Mr. Wright was driving with a friend to a car wash in suburban Minneapolis when Officer Anthony Luckey, who was being trained by Ms. Potter, noticed that Mr. Wright had used the wrong turn signal. Officer Luckey followed Mr. Wright’s white Buick and noticed that the vehicle had an air freshener dangling from the rearview mirror, this is against the law in many statesand his license plate has an expired registration sticker.
Officials checked Mr. Wright’s name through a police database and determined that a judge had recently ordered his arrest because he was late for court on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and running hide from the police officers. He stepped out of the vehicle at Sheriff Luckey’s request, but when the officer handcuffed him, Mr. Wright turned from his hand and returned to the driver’s seat.
As Officer Luckey struggled with Mr. Wright, trying to keep him from driving, Miss Potter shouted “I’ll make fun of you!” while drawing Glock replaced by her level department. Moments later, she fatally shot Mr. Wright, whose car was driving down the street before crashing into an oncoming vehicle.
Daunte Demetrius Wright played basketball in high school and later worked at Taco Bell and a shoe store with his father. His mother testified at Miss Potter’s trial that Mr. Wright had recently enrolled in a vocational school and was considering becoming a carpenter.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/us/kim-potter-sentence-manslaughter.html Kim Potter sentenced to 2 years in prison for killing Daunte Wright