By Stacy M. Brown
A jury in Minnesota on Thursday convicted former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter on multiple manslaughter counts for the killing of Black motorist Daunte Wright.
Potter, who said she mistakenly grabbed her service weapon instead of a stun gun during a traffic stop, could face up to 15 years in prison when she’s sentenced next month.
The maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter is 15 years and a $30,000 fine, and 10 years and a $20,000 fine for second-degree manslaughter.
Potter, who is white, and oth- er Brooklyn Center officers pulled Wright over on April 11 for expired registration tags and an air freshen- er on the rearview mirror of his car. Authorities said once they realized that he had outstanding warrants, they attempted to arrest Wright, who they said resisted.
When he tried to get back into his car, Potter yelled “Taser,” Taser,” but shot him with her service revolver. She maintained that she mistakenly drew the wrong weapon, includ- ing during a tearful testimony last week.
Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge told jurors in her closing argument that the case is “very simple” and came down to “reckless handling of a firearm” and “culpable negligence.”
“You don’t blindly pull your weapon, pull the trigger, without being aware of the risk,” Eldridge asserted.
Potter will be sentenced on Feb. 18.