What are the charges against Kim Potter? Here's how many years she faces in jail if convicted
Legal experts are arguing whether ex-cop Kimberly Potter can plead not guilty citing 'wrong gun' in the shooting case of Daunte Wright
BROOKLYN CENTER, MINNESOTA: The trial for Kimberly Ann Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, is slated to begin soon after the jury selection on November 30. Potter, 48, is a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. In April 2021, she was arrested for shooting the 20-year-old Black man at the Brooklyn Center traffic stop, near the place where George Floyd died. On April 13, Potter had turned in her badge and resigned along with Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
Daunte Wright, a young father, was reportedly stopped by Potter over breaking a traffic rule. Kim Potter has always maintained that she wanted to use her Taser on Wright to stop him from fleeing, but instead, she grabbed her gun and shot at him. While her prosecutors argue that she committed first and second-degree manslaughter, legal experts are arguing whether she can plead not guilty citing 'wrong gun'.
Potter was in charge of field training a new officer on Sunday, April 11, 2021, when she shot Wright. When the police stopped Wright's vehicle for allegedly violating the Minnesota law of hanging air fresheners from the rearview mirror in a car, they found that Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant to his name.
Wright attempted to flee the police as he was being handcuffed when Potter shouted and warned him, "I'll tase you." But instead, she took out her service weapon and fired a single bullet. She then appears to have dropped her gun. “Holy s**t, I just shot him,” she said as Wright sped away. Wright drove a few blocks after being shot before crashing his car. He was later pronounced dead.
Following her arrest, Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter for shooting Wright. Later, the AG office added the first-degree manslaughter charge on her after taking over the case. Though Wright's family and BLM activists demanded that Potter be charged with murder, both the current charges against her do not indicate that she intended to kill him.
If convicted on both the charges, Potter can face up to 15 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter and an additional 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. She might also be slapped with a penalty of $20,000 for the second charge. However, Minnesota judges generally call for 7 years imprisonment for the first degree and 4 years for second degree. Prisoners in Minnesota typically serve two-thirds of their time in prison and one-third on supervised release, based on good behavior in jail.