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After four days of deliberation, a Hennepin County, Minnesota jury on Thursday found former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Daunte Wright, an unarmed 20-year-old Black father, during an April 11 traffic stop.
"Kim Potter was found GUILTY," Black Lives Matter tweeted following the verdict. "May the spirit of justice in the name of Daunte Wright lead us into the new year."
The ACLU tweeted: "This verdict is still not justice. True justice doesn't come one verdict at a time. Real justice means that these situations do not happen in the first place."
Wright family attorneys Benjamin Crump, Antonio Romanucci, and Jeff Storms, released the following statement regarding the verdict:
The family of Daunte Wright is relieved that the justice system has provided some measure of accountability for the senseless death of their son, brother, father, and friend. From the unnecessary and overreaching tragic traffic stop to the shooting that took his life, that day will remain a traumatic one for this family and yet another example for America of why we desperately need change in policing, training, and protocols.
If we are ever going to restore the confidence of Black and marginalized Americans in law enforcement, we need to have accountability and a commitment to listening and to creating meaningful change. We must now turn our attention to ensuring that Kim Potter receives the strongest and most just sentence possible. It is also imperative that we focus on the conduct of Brooklyn Center and pinpoint its systemic failures that contributed to Daunte's unlawful death.
Potter unsuccessfully argued that she meant to use her Taser, and not her Glock semi-automatic pistol, on Wright during what she described as a "chaotic" encounter. The former 26-year veteran officer could face up to 15 years behind bars and as much as a $30,000 fine. However, CNN reports that since she has no criminal history, state sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence in the six-to-8.5-year range. Potter's sentencing is scheduled for February 22.
Potter's trial took place in the same Minneapolis courthouse where former city police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in April of murdering George Floyd last year.