Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer convicted in the death of Daunte Wright, has been sentenced to two years in the fatal shooting.
According to Minnesota law, Potter is required to serve two-thirds of her sentence in prison. With good behavior, she will be eligible for supervised release for the other third.
Potter, has said she mistakenly drew her gun instead of her Taser when she fatally shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop in April 2021.
She was convicted in December of first- and second-degree manslaughter.
Potter’s attorneys had argued for a lesser sentence, pointing in their own filings to her lack of a criminal record as well as her “evident contrition.” Potter had apologized to Wright’s family, her attorneys wrote, and she did so again at her sentencing Friday.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision,” Hennepin County, Minnesota, Judge Regina Chu said before announcing the sentence. “In making my decision, I look to the purposes of incarceration. There are four: retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Three of the four would not be served in this case.”
“The evidence is undisputed that officer Potter never intended to use her firearm,” Chu said.
“This case is highly unusual. … This is not a cop found guilty of murder for using his knee to pin down a person for nine-and-a-half minutes as he gasped for air,” Chu said, referring to the George Floyd case.
“I recognize there will be those who disagree with the sentence that I granted a significant downward departure does not in any way diminish Daunte Wright’s life,” she added. “His life mattered.”