APTOPIX Daunte Wright Officer Trial

In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter stands as the verdict is read, Thursday.

MINNEAPOLIS — A suburban Minneapolis police officer who said she confused her handgun for her Taser was convicted of manslaughter, Thursday, in the death of Daunte Wright, prompting tears from the young Black man’s parents and a jubilant celebration by supporters outside the courthouse who chanted “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”

The mostly white jury deliberated for about 27 hours over four days before finding former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. Potter, 49, faces about seven years in prison under the state’s sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors said they would seek a longer term.

Judge Regina Chu ordered Potter taken into custody and held without bail pending sentencing on Feb. 18. Potter had been free on $100,000 bond posted the day last April that she was charged, which was three days after she killed Wright and a day after she quit the police force.

As she was led away in handcuffs, a Potter family member in the courtroom shouted “Love you, Kim!” Potter’s attorneys left the courthouse without commenting and didn’t immediately respond to phone messages or emails.

Outside the courthouse, dozens of people who had gathered erupted in cheers, hugs and tears of joy as the verdicts were read. A New Orleans-style jazz band played “When the Saints Come Marching In.” Two men jumped up and down holding one another’s shoulders, and then other people began jumping up and down and chanting “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”

They chanted “Say his name! Daunte Wright!” Some held yellow signs that said “guilty” in large block letters.

Potter, who testified that she “didn’t want to hurt anybody,” looked down without any visible reaction when the verdicts were read. As Chu thanked the jury, Potter made the sign of the cross.

Potter’s attorneys argued that she should be allowed to remain free until she’s sentenced, saying she wasn’t going to commit another crime or

go anywhere.

“It is the Christmas holiday season,” Potter attorney Paul Engh argued. “She’s a devoted Catholic, no less, and there is no point to incarcerate her at this point in time.”

Chu rejected their arguments, though, saying she “cannot treat this case any differently than any other case.”

After Potter was led from the courtroom, prosecutor Erin Eldridge exchanged a long hug with a tearful Katie Bryant, Wright’s mother and a frequent presence at the trial, and with Wright’s father. Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office handled the prosecution, also exchanged hugs with the parents.

It was the second high-profile conviction of a police officer won this year by a team led by Ellison, including some of the same attorneys who helped convict Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death in the very same courtroom just eight months earlier.

Outside the courthouse afterward, Ellison said the verdict brought a measure of accountability for Potter but fell short of justice.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

Wrong message is being sent. A lot of young black kids are going to think that resisting is the right thing to do....Teach your children to cooperate with law enforcement...They Out Gun you, They Out Radio you, and They Out Man you. If you feel they have done you wrong...get a lawyer and sue them. Maybe get your own body camera...not a bad idea. If you "play" stupid games...you will "win" stupid prizes...Resist and you can count on taking the eternal Dirt Nap. I wonder how many police officers called in sick today in Minneapolis...?

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