Kim Potter, 49, was convicted of manslaughter in December.
The facts had occurred during a banal traffic check in April 2021 in the suburbs of Minneapolis.
She always claimed to have pulled out her service weapon believing she was using her stun gun as 20-year-old Daunte Wright resisted arrest at Brooklyn Center.
During the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin
The death of the young man had moved the United States, because he had been killed during the trial of the white policeman Derek Chauvin who, in May 2020 in Minneapolis, asphyxiated the black forties George Floyd.
I recognize that some will disagree with the sentence, said judge Regina Chu to justify her decision. The policewoman
made a tragic mistake while she was doing
a lawful arrestshe explained.
She never meant to hurtshe added, her voice overwhelmed with emotion, pointing out that the case was totally different from the death of George Floyd.
A long career without a hitch
Kim Potter will be able to get out of prison after 16 months and serve the rest of her sentence on parole.
At the start of the hearing, prosecutor Matt Frank had demanded a sentence of just over seven years in prison for this white policewoman with 26 years of a career so far without a hitch.
The family of Daunte Wright, who had on the contrary claimed
the most severe penalty possibleexpressed his anger at the exit of the court.
” Kim Potter killed my son and he died on April 11. Today, justice killed him again. »
I was deceived, it hurts me and I am very angryadded her husband, Aubrey Wright, considering that the former police officer had not received
just a pat on the hand.
The family lawyer, Ben Crump, who had also represented the relatives of George Floyd, for his part denounced
justice in black and white.
” We tried to encourage (the family) to believe that there was fair justice in America, but with sentences like this, it’s hard to convince them. »
The lawyer for the ex-policewoman, Paul Engh, had pleaded for a suspended sentence in view of her exemplary record of service, her remorse expressed at trial and considering that she was not
no risk to societyarguments that the judge took into account.
It was an accident, a mistakehe said, claiming that Daunte Wright had acted
aggressively to his arrest while he was under a warrant for his arrest.
I’m so sorry for hurting you so muchrepeated during the hearing Kim Potter to the address of the family of the young driver, hoping that this one
may one day find a way to forgive, because hate destroys us all.
A minor traffic violation
On April 11, 2021, the police officer and a colleague decided to check the driver of a car for a minor traffic violation. After realizing that he was the subject of an arrest warrant, they decided to arrest him.
At the trial in December, she described a situation
potentially dangerous. The young man, who was unarmed, had not allowed himself to be handcuffed and had restarted his car to flee.
Kim Potter then drew what she said she thought was her stun gun. She had fired a single shot, mortally wounding Daunte Wright.
Gatherings enamelled with violence had taken place several evenings in a row at Brooklyn Center before the arrest of Kim Potter restored calm.