Kim Potter, ex-Minnesota officer, found guilty of manslaughter in death of Daunte Wright

A Minneapolis jury on Thursday convicted former police officer Kim Potter on all charges she faced for fatally shooting Black motorist Daunte Wright earlier this year.

The Hennepin County panel found Potter guilty of first-degree manslaughter, meaning she improperly used “such force and violence that death of or great bodily harm to any person was reasonably foreseeable.”

Jurors also found the white former officer guilty of second-degree manslaughter charge, which only required a finding of “culpable negligence” that created “unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.”

Potter faces a maximum of 15 years behind bars. The jury consisted of one Black person, two Asian American people and nine white people.

Wright’s fatal shooting on April 11 happened about 10 miles from the courthouse where former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was on trial for the slaying of George Floyd.

Days later, Chauvin, who is white, was convicted of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter, in the May 25, 2020, killing of Floyd, a Black man, whose death touched off a summer of national protests calling for an end to institutional racism.

Potter’s trial was held in the same courtroom where Chauvin’s trial was carried out.

A tearful Potter testified in her own defense last week and described a “chaotic” scene that required her to make a split-second decision.

Wright was being arrested on an outstanding weapons charge when he tried getting back into his car. Potter testified that she feared for the safety of another officer, Sgt. Mychal Johnson, who was struggling with Wright from the passenger side.

Potter holstered her Glock on her right, dominant side and her Taser on the left.

The prosecution played video from Potter’s body camera for jurors, showing how the officer had the Glock in her hand for at least five seconds before firing the deadly round.

The Glock used to kill Wright weighed 2.11 pounds, compared to the .94-pound Taser that emanates light and needed a safety switch to be pulled before use, prosecutors said.

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