MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — Kim Potter, the former suburban Minneapolis police officer who said she mistook her handgun for her Taser when she fatally shot Daunte Wright, was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.
The penalty is below state guidelines after judge Regina Chu found mitigating factors warranted a lesser sentence. Potter was convicted in December of first-and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 killing of Wright, 20.
Potter was sentenced only on the more serious charge in accordance with state law.
For someone with no criminal history, such as Potter, the state guidelines on that charge range from slightly more than six years to about 8 1/2 years in prison, with the presumptive sentence being just over seven years.
Prosecutors said the presumptive sentence was proper, but defense attorneys asked for a sentence below the guidelines, including a sentence of probation only.
Wright’s mother, Katie Bryant, said Friday she will never be able to forgive Potter for shooting and killing her son.
“She never once said his name. And for that I’ll never be able to forgive you. And I’ll never be able to forgive you for what you’ve stolen from us,” a tearful Bryant said. “A police officer who was supposed to serve and protect so much took so much away from us. My life and my world will never ever be the same again.”
“Daunte Demetrius Wright, I will continue to fight in your name until driving while black is no longer a death sentence,” she added.
Wright was killed after Brooklyn Center officers pulled him over for having expired license tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. The shooting, which came in the midst of Derek Chauvin’s trial for the killing of George Floyd, sparked several days of demonstrations and protests around the country.