UPDATED 3:49 PM PT – Thursday, December 23, 2021
Former police officer Kim Potter has been found guilty of both first- and second-degree manslaughter after shooting and killing 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April.
After three full days of deliberations, the Minnesota jury came to a verdict on Thursday, convicting Potter with manslaughter in the death of Wright after she claimed she mistook her gun for a taser. Potter’s attorneys argued the former Minnesota officer is a “devoted Catholic” who isn’t a danger to the public and asked the judge to release her from custody until her sentence hearing. However, the judge denied the request.
“I am going to require that she be taken into custody and held without bail,” said Judge Regina Chu. “And I recognize your arguments Mr. Engh and Mr. Gray, but I cannot treat this case any differently than any other case.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison expressed his condolences for the victim’s family and thanked the jury for their verdict, adding their decision resulted in a “degree of accountability for Daunte’s death.”
“Accountability is not justice. Justice is restoration,” stated Ellison. “Justice would be restoring Daunte to life and making the Wright family whole again. 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.”
The former Brooklyn officer has been transferred to Minnesota Correctional Facility and faces up to 15 years in prison for the first-degree manslaughter charge, in addition to up to 10 years for the second-degree charge. Her sentence hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18 with prosecutors saying they’re seeking a longer term.
Meanwhile, the family of Daunte Wright continue to mourn the loss of their son and are thankful for the jury’s verdict.
“Now we’ve been able to process it, we want to thank the entire prosecution team,” said Daunte’s mother, Katie Bryant. “We want to thank community support, everybody who’s been out there that has supported us and this long fight for accountability.”