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Kim Potter SMILES in new booking photo after being found GUILTY of first and second degree manslaughter for shooting dead Daunte Wright, 20, when she 'mistook her gun for her Taser'
Daunte Wright's mother Katie sobbed as she looked at Kim Potter on Friday and told her: 'I will never forgive you'. Potter shot him dead last April after mistaking her Taser for a gun
Former Minneapolis police officer Kim Potter will spend a year in prison for the shooting death of Daunte Wright, a black man she shot in April last year after mistakenly drawing her gun while reaching for her Taser.
Potter, 48, was sentenced to 24 months behind bars on Friday - far less than the maximum of seven years - but she will serve only 16 months, thanks to a concession from Judge Regina Chu who cried as she handed down the sentence and told Wright's family to feel 'empathy' for the cop who shot him.
Potter has already served 58 days in Shakopee, the Minnesota women's prison, which will be applied to her sentence as time served, meaning she will serve a total of 14 more months behind bars.
Wright's family had tearfully begged Chu to hand down the maximum sentence of seven years. They called the killing a 'murder' and said Potter, a mother-of-two and 26-year veteran, showed not enough remorse.
Potter on Friday struggled through tears to apologize to them and tell them that she prayed for them, and him, every day.
'To the family of Daunte Wright. I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father brother uncle, and the rest of your family. To your home Katie, I understand a mother's love and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you,' she sobbed.
Judge Chu quoted Barack Obama in court and told Wright's family to 'walk in' the convicted cop's shoes.
'Of all the jobs in public service, police officers have the most difficult one. They must make snap decisions under tense evolving and ever-changing circumstances. They risk their lives every single day in public service. Officer Potter made a mistake that ended tragically. She never intended to hurt anyone. Her conduct cries out for a sentence significantly below the guidelines,' she said.
She said there was no comparison between Potter and Derek Chauvin, the cop who murdered George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes, and said Potter was a 'police officer who made a terrible mistake.'
'It is undisputed she never intended to use her firearm. She mistakenly drew her firearm. This is a cop who made a tragic mistake. She drew her firearm thinking it was a Taser and ended up killing a young man,' she said.
Kim Potter choked on tears as she addressed the court in Minneapolis on Friday and apologized to Daunte Wright's family
Judge Regina Chu who cried as she handed down the sentence and told Wright's family to feel 'empathy' for the cop who shot him
Wright is shown, left, in an image shared by his family and right, in a mugshot. He was known to police in Minneapolis and had a history of violenc
To the family of Daunte Wright. I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father brother uncle, and the rest of your family to your home.
Katie, I understand a mother's love and I am sorry I broke your heart.
'My heart is broken for all of you. Earlier when you said I didn't look at you during the trial, I don't believe I had a right to. I am so sorry that I hurt you so badly.
I am broken and devastated for all of you. I pray for Daunte and all of you many, many times a day.
I have no right for him to be in my heart. I do pray one day you can find forgiveness only because hatred is so destructive to all of us.
I pray peace will always be with you and your family.
To the community of Brooklyn Center I do owe you an apology too. I loved working for you and I am sorry what has happened for our community since the death of Daunte.
The men and women who work for you still are good honorable people who will work hard for you.
Ex-Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter is seen grinning from ear to ear in her new mugshot shortly after she was convicted of first and second degree manslaughter for shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright dead.
Potter, 49, was led away in handcuffs at Hennepin County Court on Thursday and ordered to be held without bail ahead of her sentencing in February.
Jurors in the dramatic eight-day trial came to a decision after close to 28 hours of deliberations, during which they had, at times, seemed hopelessly deadlocked.
The jury of six men and six women - nine white, two Asian and one black - alerted the judge that they had reached a verdict shortly before noon on the fourth day of deliberations.
Potter remained impassive between her attorneys and did not react throughout the reading of the guilty verdict or the news that she would be taken into custody.
One of the jurors wept and shook as the decision was read. Wright's family members let out loud sighs with each guilty count.
As she left the courtroom, her husband, who was present with the couple's sons, shouted 'I love you, Kim.' Potter did not react.
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After reading out the outcome, Judge Regina Chu confirmed with each juror individually that this was their 'true and correct verdict.' The judge told group they were 'the heroes of our judicial system.'
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.
Minnesota State Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office handled the prosecution, also exchanged hugs with the parents.
Potter was found guilty of first and second degree manslaughter on Thursday for shooting 20-year-old black motorist Daunte Wright dead during a botched traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11
Potter remained impassive between her attorneys and did not react throughout reading of the verdict or the news that she would be taken into custody
The former police officer, 49, reacts after being convicted of both manslaughter charges, which carry a 15 and 10 year max sentence, respectively