Convicted of manslaughter after fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a former Minneapolis police officer was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.
On April 11, 2021, Minneapolis police officers pulled over Wright for a traffic violation. The officers decided to arrest Wright after learning that he had an open arrest warrant for failing to appear in court on a misdemeanor weapons violation for carrying a gun without a permit.
According to police body cam video, the officers attempted to cuff Wright’s hands behind his back when he resisted arrest by entering the vehicle and trying to escape. While aiming her firearm at Wright, Officer Kim Potter threatened to fire her Taser at him before fatally shooting him in the chest by mistake.
On December 23, 2021, Potter was found guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. On Friday, Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu sentenced her to two years in prison. Judge Chu ordered Potter to spend two-thirds of her sentence behind bars and one-third of it on supervised release.
During the sentencing hearing on Friday, Potter stated, “To the family of Daunte Wright, I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, brother, father, uncle, grandson, nephew, and the rest of your family to your home.”
After the sentencing, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison issued the following statement: “Judge Chu heard from the witnesses and attorneys on both sides. She read many letters on both sides, and she read and considered the evaluation and recommendations contained in the pre-sentence investigation.
“I accept her judgment. I urge everyone to accept her judgment. I don’t ask you to agree with her decision, which takes nothing away from the truth of the jury’s verdict. I know it is hurtful to loved ones of Daunte Wright. I ask that we remember the beauty of Daunte Wright, to keep his memory in our hearts, and to know that no number of years in prison could ever capture the wonder of this young man’s life.
“There is no cause for celebration: no one has won. We all have lost, none more than Daunte Wright and the people who love him. None of us ever wanted Kim Potter to recklessly pull the wrong weapon and kill Daunte Wright.”
According to the Department of Corrections, Potter is incarcerated at Minnesota Correctional Facility – Shakopee. Her anticipated release date is on April 24, 2023.