A jury returned a guilty verdict on two counts Thursday in the trial of Kim Potter, a former Minnesota police officer who said she mistook her firearm for her Taser when she shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.
Potter was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter. Jurors returned the verdict after three days of deliberation.
Officers had learned Wright had a warrant out for his arrest after pulling him over for an expired tag. Potter could be heard shouting “Taser” repeatedly before firing her handgun, killing Wright.
She had decades of training on both weapons. She resigned from the department days after the shooting.
Potter will face sentencing at a later date. In Minnesota, where the trial took place, sentences for multiple convictions are always served concurrently. That means that while Potter faces up to 15 years for the first-degree charge and up to 10 years for the second-degree charge, she would only serve the higher length of the two.
After the verdict was read, attorneys Benjamin Crump, Antonio Romanucci and Jeff Storms, who represent Wright’s family, released the following statement:
“The family of Daunte Wright is relieved that the justice system has provided some measure of accountability for the senseless death of their son, brother, father and friend.
“From the unnecessary and overreaching tragic traffic stop to the shooting that took his life, that day will remain a traumatic one for this family and yet another example for America of why we desperately need change in policing, training and protocols. If we are ever going to restore the confidence of Black and marginalized Americans in law enforcement, we need to have accountability and a commitment to listening and to creating meaningful change.
“We must now turn our attention to ensuring that Kim Potter receives the strongest and most just sentence possible. It is also imperative that we focus on the conduct of Brooklyn Center and pinpoint its systemic failures that contributed to Daunte’s unlawful death.”
Ex-police officer Kim Potter found guilty in fatal shooting of Daunte Wright