A sympathetic judge has just sentenced Kim Potter for the accidental shooting of Duante Wright.
Instead of throwing the book at her for the maximum of 25 years, the judge sentenced her to only two years and openly acknowledged that this was simply a tragic mistake by Potter:
NY POST – Ex-cop Kim Potter was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for killing 20-year-old Daunte Wright, shooting him when she thought she was firing her Taser.
The 26-year Brooklyn Center police veteran was convicted of manslaughter in December for the fatal shooting, which took place after Wright tried to flee a traffic stop. Video from the scene showed Potter shout that she was going for her Taser, though she’d mistakenly pulled her pistol. She fired a single shot before realizing her mistake.
“This is one of the saddest cases I’ve had on my 20 years on the bench,” Judge Regina Chu said Friday. “This is a cop who made a tragic mistake.”
Chu was quick to differentiate Potter from other officers convicted in recent killings, most notably Derek Chauvin, the officer convicted of murder for kneeling on George Floyd.
“She never intended to hurt anyone,” Chu said of Potter. Had Potter in fact pulled her Taser, Chu said, that use of force would have been legitimate.
The sentence came after an extremely emotional statement from Potter, who wept openly while apologizing to Wright’s family.
“To the family of Daunte Wright, I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew, to your home.”
She addressed Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, directly.
“Katie, I understand a mother’s love, and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you.”
“Earlier when you said that I didn’t look at you during the trial, I don’t believe I had a right to.”
“I am so sorry that I hurt you so badly,” she said, her voice breaking.
“He is not more than one thought away from my heart,” Potter said of Wright. “And I have no right for that, for him to be in my heart.”
“I do pray that one day you can find forgiveness,” she said.
Daunte Wright’s mother refused to accept any consolation from Potter’s words and angrily lashed out at her afterwards:
At a press conference following the sentencing, however, Wright’s mother said she found Potter insincere.
“White women’s tears trump justice,” said Katie Wright, who is also white. “I thought my white-woman tears would be enough.”
“I feel cheated, I feel hurt, I feel very upset,” said Daunte Wright’s father, Aubrey Wright.
“This lady got a slap on the wrist and we’re still sitting around every night crying, waiting for my son to come home,” he said.
Wright’s mother had earlier asked Chu for “the highest accountability” in Friday’s sentencing.
I get that Katie Wright is still grieving from all of this, but even so I have little respect for her after how she lashed out at Potter. The shooting was clearly a mistake which anyone who watched the video could see. And let’s not forget that it was brought about because Daunte was resisting and fighting cops.
I have no doubt that Potter was absolutely sincere because the last thing a cop wants to do is take someone’s life. That’s a burden Potter will have to live with the rest of her life, long after the sentence is past.
I am thankful that the judge was reasonable in this case with her sentiment and sentencing and I do hope Potter will be eligible for parole before too long.
UPDATE: I read this in the AP regarding parole:
Potter will serve two-thirds of her sentence, or 16 months in prison, with the rest on parole. She has earned credit for 58 days.
I’m not sure how to read this, but I hope this 2 month credit applies to her 16 month prison sentence so that she’s actually only in there for 14 months. Either way, I hope they grant her parole long before this.