Kim Potter, former white Brooklyn center, Minnesota, police, person shoot and kill Daunte Wright in April, was convicted after mistaking her handgun for a Taser during a deadly traffic stop.
Potter, 49, was found guilty on Thursday of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the April 11 incident. Traffic stop ends with death of 20-year-old black man. The former officer, who resigned after 26 years in the job, now faces 35 years behind bars when she is sentenced on February 18.
Potter bowed his head and closed his eyes as the verdict was read out. As Judge Regina Chu thanked the jury for their sacrifice, calling them “the heroes in this case,” Potter quietly performed the sign of the cross. A female juror appeared to cry as the verdict was read, a WCCO reporter in the courtroom said.
Potter is handcuffed after the judge denied her lawyer’s request that she be released on Christmas bail because she is a “devoted Catholic”. Her husband, who was holding hands with the couple’s children, shouted, “Love you Kim” as she left.
Wright’s mother, Katie Bryant, said she “shouted” when the verdict was read out. “The moment we heard guilt…every emotion you could imagine just ran through your body at that moment,” she said outside court.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he was delighted “that there will be an empty seat at the Wright family dinner over the holidays,” but said he also feels love for Potter.
“She is going from being a respected member of the community, an honorary member of a noble profession, to being a convicted felon. I don’t want that to happen to anyone, but it’s our responsibility as prosecutors, as attorneys general, to pursue justice wherever it leads and to restore justice. The jury found the truth.”
The verdict, delivered after 27 hours of deliberation over three days, is just the latest chapter in the ongoing American calculus of police brutality. It also marks the first major trial for a Minneapolis-area police officer who shot and killed a Black man since Derek Chauvin was convicted – days after Wright was killed – of George Floyd. Both incidents prompted mass protests in one state Critics say little has been done to reform de-escalation and use of force policies.
During her week-long trial, prosecutors allege Potter was criminally negligent. But while testifying in her own defense on Friday, Potter emotionally recounted the events leading up to Wright’s death – and suggested the whole thing might not have started if the officer she was training with do not start stopping traffic.
“We tried to keep him from driving away. It’s all going to be chaotic,” Potter said through tears. “I remember screaming ‘Taser! Electric gun! Electric gun!’ and nothing happens, and then [Officer Anthony Luckey] told me I shot him. ”
But while Potter apologized for the incident and insisted she didn’t “want to hurt anyone,” Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge insisted in concluding his argument that “the accident could still be crime”. In front of a 12-person jury that went through the evidence presented during the trial, he insisted that Potter was not charged with murder because they did not believe the ex-cop had intentionally killed Wright — only that she risked her life. criminally charged.
“This is not a great thing,” Eldridge said Monday. “This is not a check date wrong. This isn’t about entering the wrong password somewhere. This is a huge event. A mistake of epic proportions. “
To prove the charge of first-degree manslaughter under Minnesota law, prosecutors had to convince jurors that Potter caused Wright’s death by “recklessly handling or using a firearm to endanger life.” endanger the safety of others by force and violence resulting in death or substantial bodily harm to any person reasonably foreseeable. For the second-degree charge, prosecutors must convince jurors that Potter “made an unjustified risk” by using a firearm.
However, Potter’s defense maintained throughout the trial that Wright was resisting arrest and attempting to separate from the officers — potentially meaning the use of force was warranted.
“Unfortunately, Daunte Wright caused his own death,” Potter’s attorney, Earl Grey, said in his final argument. “Those are the cold facts of the evidence.”
Gray told jurors on Monday that his client did not consciously commit any certain act and that “mistakes are not crimes.”
His arguments mirror that of Brooklyn Central Police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned with Potter the day before her arrest after publicly claiming the case was substantiated. In the stands, Gannon told jurors that he had concluded “no violation of…police, procedure, law” after reviewing Potter’s camera footage.
Brooklyn officer Anthony Luckey told jurors last week that he and Potter pulled Wright back because the alleged car tabs had expired. After performing a record check, Luckey said, he discovered Wright had a misdemeanor subpoena outstanding and ordered him to step out of the car.
Body-cam footage shows Wright getting out of the car and then jumping inside before Luckey can handcuff him. Potter is then seen grabbing her shotgun with his right hand before pointing it at Wright and shouting about Taser.
About a second later, Potter fired a single shot to Wright’s left side. The criminal complaint against her says that Wright cried out in pain before his car sped off several miles and eventually crashed into another vehicle.
“Oh my God!” Potter was told about Luckey in body-cam footage that was broadcast to the jurors. “Damn it! I just shot him! In another clip played in court, Potter can be seen sobbing on the ground, insisting she doesn’t know what she’s done.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wright died of the shot and his death was homicide. After the incident, a Minnesota Department of Public Safety investigator examined Potter’s belt and concluded that her shotgun was on the right side and her Taser on the left. Prosecutors argued with jurors that Potter knew that the gun was in her right hand and her Taser was on her left — and had recklessly mishandled the gun during the arrest. keep Wright.
“Bringing a badge and a gun is not a license to kill,” Eldridge insisted to jurors.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/daunte-wright-killer-former-brooklyn-center-minnesota-police-officer-kim-potter-found-guilty?source=articles&via=rss Daunte Wright Killer, Former Brooklyn Police Officer, Minnesota, Kim Potter, Crime Found
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