/  12.23.2021

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter has been found guilty of the manslaughter of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, CNN reported. The predominately white jury reached the verdict on Thursday (Dec. 22) after less than a week of deliberations.

Potter was arrested and charged after she fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop in April. At the time, cops pulled him over for his expired registration tag and the air freshener that hung in his back windshield. After discovering there was an outstanding weapons warrant for his arrest, he attempted to drive away, prompting Potter to threaten him with a Taser. She eventually fired her gun and immediately noticed that she accidentally pulled out the wrong weapon.

Potter had pleaded not guilty to charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter, attempting to provide evidence of her innocence during the two-week-long trial. Body-cam footage played in the Brooklyn Center courtroom captured the moment she realized she hadn’t fired at Wright with her Taser.

“Oh my God!” Potter could be heard saying in the footage. “Holy shit! I just shot him!” While sharing her testimony, she broke down while insisting she “didn’t want to hurt anybody.”

Prosecutors argued that Potter, a veteran officer with over two decades of experience, should have been trained to prevent from making the mistake. They also mentioned that the use of force against Wright was unjustifiable as he didn’t put the officer’s life at risk.

Daunte Wright was unarmed, he had no gun, he had no weapon, and he posed no threat to those officers,” Erin Eldridge told jurors. “We’re here because this was entirely preventable, totally avoidable.”

Attorney Paul Engh defended Potter‘s mistake, noting that “police officers are human beings.” He claimed that she was attempting to protect herself and fellow officers from being dragged by Wright’s car and would have been justified if her use of the firearm was a conscious decision.

 

 

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