In April 2021, the former Brooklyn Center cop was convicted guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.
HENNEPIN COUNTY, MN (KROC-AM News) — Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday by Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu for shooting and killing Daunte Wright.
According to Minnesota law, at least 16 months of the sentence must be served in jail. If there are no disciplinary crimes or conditional release violations, the remaining eight months of the sentence will be served on supervised release.
Potter has already been given credit for 58 days of service.
Potter was found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of the 20-year-old during a traffic stop in April 2021 by a jury in December.
The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office filed a request on Feb. 15 seeking Potter’s presumptive sentence of 86 months, or a little over seven years. Friday morning, Prosecutor Matthew Frank reaffirmed that request. Paul Engh, Potter’s lawyer, requested probation.
Potter didn’t mean to draw her pistol, she was dealing with a chaotic environment, and her actions weren’t motivated by personal enmity toward Daunte Wright, Chu explained before imposing the penalty.
Judge Chu described this case as “one of the worst cases she’s dealt with in her 20 years on the court” before announcing her decision.
After hearing from prosecutor Frank and Engh, as well as impact statements from members of Daunte Wright’s family, including his mother Katie Wright, father Arbuey Wright, sister Diamond Wright, brother Damik Bryant, Chyna Whitaker, the mother of Daunte’s young son, and Kim Potter, Chu handed down the two-year sentence.
Katie Wright stated Friday morning, “I have to be the voice for myself, my family, my community, but most importantly, I have to be the voice of my son Daunte.”
She said Potter, “I’ll never be able to forgive you for what you’ve stolen from us.” “With a single gunshot through his heart, she stole our tiny son and ruined mine.”
“Everything we do as a family ends in tears,” Daunte’s father Arbuey said in court. All we have left are memories of our son.”
Chyna Whitaker wept as she talked about all the things Daunte Wright won’t get to do with his 2-year-old son, Daunte Jr.
“Neither I nor any other guy can fill the shoes of his father. “All I can do now is hope and pray that things will improve for us,” she explained.
Kim Potter’s booking photo, which was taken after her manslaughter conviction, sparked fury among her family members. Potter is smiling in the snap. During his statements, Paul Engh stated that the photo was not intended to be offensive and that the prison had urged Potter to grin in it.
Before Judge Chu handed down her sentence, Potter was the final person to speak. Potter apologized to Daunte’s family, particularly his mother Katie Wright, for the harm he had caused. She also expressed regret to the Brooklyn Center community for what occurred after Daunte’s death.
“To Daunte Wright’s family.” “I’m so sorry that I brought your son’s, brother’s, uncle’s, grandson’s, and nephew’s death to your home,” she apologized. “I understand a mother’s love, Katie, and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.” My heart breaks for each and every one of you.”
Following Potter’s sentencing, Executive Director Brian Peters of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association issued a statement, which included the following:
“While we disagreed with the trial verdict, we respect the function of the court and jury, and we appreciate the significant reduction in the sentencing of 24 months in prison.”
“We appreciate Judge Chu’s thorough approach in her stated rationale, as she recognized Ms. Potter’s law enforcement service and that she made a regrettable error,” the statement continued.
Attorney General Keith Ellison of Minnesota also issued a statement, saying:
“Today is a depressing day.
“Today is a sad day because Daunte Wright is no longer with us.
“Daunte’s life was significant. He was a son, a parent, a brother, and a friend all rolled into one. He was a brilliant young man with tremendous ambitions and dreams for himself and his younger brother, Daunte Jr. He should have had his entire life ahead of him to realize his aspirations. Instead, there is an unfillable void in the Wright family and in the lives of his little son. Nothing and no one can make up for what they’ve lost.
‘I express my heartfelt condolences once more to his mother Katie, father [Arbuey], son, siblings, and everyone who loved him.”