A verdict was reached Thursday in the trial of ex-Brooklyn Center Police officer Kimberly Potter, who faced first and second degree manslaughter charges in the shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in April.
Potter was found guilty of both charges. She faces up to 15 years in prison during the sentencing phase of the trial. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 18.
She was expressionless as Judge Regina Chu read the verdict.
Chu ordered Potter held without bail between Thursday’s verdict and her sentencing.
Her attorneys argued that there was no reason to hold Potter on bail, as she is remorseful and not a threat to flee or a danger to public safety.
“She’s been convicted of an accident,” attorney Earl Gray said. “She’s been convicted of being reckless.”
Chu upheld her initial decision, noting that she could not treat this case differently than others. The prosecution said it is customary for a person convicted of such crimes to be held without bail.
Potter, who was training a fellow officer the day of the shooting, pulled Wright over for expired license plate tags.
During the traffic stop, Wright began wrestling with another officer at the scene, and then jumped back into his vehicle in an attempt to flee.
“Tazer, Tazer, Tazer,” Wright could be heard shouting on her body camera footage, but the footage showed her holding her service pistol.
She then fired the gun, killing Wright.
She claimed in her defense that she meant to shoot Wright with her Tazer.
During her trial, she broke down in tears twice, first when she recounted the event for her defense attorney, and another time when recounting the event for the prosecution.
“I’m sorry it happened,” Potter said, sobbing. “I’m so sorry… I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”
Potter is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death. She faces up to 15 years in prison.
After being charged with aggravated robbery, Wright had been released on $100,000 bail. But his bail was revoked in July for “failure to not possess a firearm or ammunition,” and for not keeping in touch with his probation officer. A new arrest warrant was then issued, and the Brooklyn Center Police attempted to take him into custody on that outstanding warrant, which allegedly led to the struggle between Potter and Wright.
– – –