Former police officer Kim Potter received a two-year sentence for the killing of Daunte Wright on Friday.
A jury convicted Potter of manslaughter in December for the April 2021 killing of Wright, a Black man.
Potter's sentence will be split between 16 months in prison and eight months of supervised release.
Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter received a two-year sentence on Friday, after a jury convicted her of manslaughter in December for the killing of Daunte Wright.
Potter, a former police officer in Brooklyn Center, was convicted on first- and second-degree manslaughter charges for the shooting death of Wright. Potter shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, in the chest during a traffic stop in April 2021.
Police body-camera footage showed Potter, who later resigned from the force, shouting, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" before shooting Wright in the chest. Potter's defense attorneys said the officer intended to grab her Taser instead of her gun, which was holstered on the opposite side of her body, when she shot Wright.
Potter faced a total of up to 25 years in prison after being convicted on both manslaughter charges. Judge Regina Chu sentenced Potter to 24 months in custody, with 16 to serve in state prison and eight months to serve in supervised release.
Chu's sentence is lower than the amount requested by prosecutors Tuesday. In a Tuesday filing, prosecutors told Judge Chu that they believe a sentence of around seven years was appropriate. The state said that a sentence of 86 months was appropriate for Potter because she had no previous criminal record, according to court records.
Wright's mother, Katie, who is white, said that she felt like the justice system "murdered" her son "all over again" at a press conference after Potter's sentencing. Wright's father, Arbuey, told reporters that he felt like Potter's sentence was a "slap on the wrist" and that his family had been "tricked" by the justice system.
"I walked out of this courthouse feeling like people are laughing at us because this lady got a slap on the wrist and we, still, every night, are sitting around crying, waiting for my son to come home," Arbuey Wright said.
Potter spoke in court on Friday and apologized to Wright's family. She told Wright's mother that she didn't look at her during the trial because she "didn't think I had a right to be in the same room with you."
Potter said in court that she prays for Daunte and his family "many, many times a day" even though she said she thinks she has "no right" to.
"I pray that you can find forgiveness only because hatred is so destructive to all of us," Potter said. "I pray peace will always be with you and your family."
Defense attorney Paul Engh argued that Potter should receive probation because she did not have a previous criminal record, does not pose a threat to the public, and can never own a gun again as a convicted felon.
Katie Wright asked the judge to hold Potter to the "highest accountability" and noted that Potter did not perform any life-saving measures on Wright after shooting him.
"She referred to Daunte over and over again as 'the driver' as if killing him wasn't enough to dehumanize him," Wright said in court.
Arbuey Wright also asked Judge Chu to impose the maximum sentence for Potter.
"Everything we do as a family ends in tears because all we have is memories left of my son," Wright said in court.
Several other members of Wright's family, including his sister and brother, also spoke in court and told Judge Chu how much pain Daunte's loss had caused their family.
"I remember when Daunte was alive and the George Floyd killing was being discussed a lot," Diamond Wright, Daunte's sister said in court. "Me and my mom and daughter were having a talk saying just maybe we have enough white in us for us not to be a threat to the police. We were wrong."
Daunte's killing in April 2021 occurred during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, a Black man. Floyd's murder caused a national outcry and widespread protests against police brutality.
Judge Chu called the case "one of the saddest" that she had ever seen on the bench. She said she was profoundly moved by the words of the Wright family and also respected Potter for her over 26 years of honorable service in law enforcement.
Chu said she didn't think that Potter required rehabilitation to become a law-abiding citizen, but she did think prison time was justified because Wright's family deserved retribution.
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