On April 14, former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly A. Potter was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting young black man Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, the Washington County Attorney’s office degreed. The charges would subject Potter to a maximum of 10 years of jail time and or a fine of $20,000.
Potter, who killed Wright while trying to apprehend him, had her home fortified by officers in the Champlin neighborhood, Minneapolis, on Tuesday, April 13.
Concrete walls and fences surrounded Kim Potter’s dwelling, Star Tribute reported. Her driveway was guarded with two police cars with “Caution: Lasers in Use” written behind the barriers. Her street was also blocked from parking vehicles and non-residential traffic. Local authorities were informing its residents of possible protests in the area in the following days via cellphone alert, the outlet continued.
Her neighbors expressed that many were considering leaving the area, with one telling the Wall Street Journal that they were “stressed” and “nervous.”
“I’ve been told some of the neighbors have left,” said one woman. At the time, the Journal reported Potter was not at home.
Potter, together with police Chief Tim Gannon both resigned from their position on Tuesday. The 26-year police veteran and head of the officers’ union had been on administrative leave.
Star Tribute informed that the retired officer was delivered to Hennepin County jail on Wednesday morning.
Minneapolis defense attorney Barry Edwards believes that Potter may not necessarily have to face the maximum sentences since judges would abide by the state Sentencing Guidelines Commission’s guidelines instead. The attorney surmises that as Potter has no previous felony history, her most likely sentence for the second-degree manslaughter charges would be only four years. Additionally, she could be exempted from prison if a judge decides on probation.
“If it were my client, I would argue for probation … and expect a good chance of winning,” Edwards said.
On the day of the shooting, around 2 p.m. Sunday, Potter and two other officers stopped a car near N. 63rd and Orchard avenues in Brooklyn Center after discovering that it had an expired tag. The officers found out the driver, Daunte Wright, had a warrant when they screened his name.
The open warrant was for his involvement in an armed robbery case that transpired in March, in which he used a pistol.
Brooklyn Center Police Department said that when officers were trying to apprehend Wright, he struggled against the officers and re-entered his car, trying to escape. The department’s bodycam tape showed that Potter shouted “Taser” three times before accidentally firing a shot at the suspect, saying, “Holy [expletive]. I just shot him.”
Wright drove the car for several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. He was found dead at the scene.
According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wright died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen and assessed that his death was a homicide.
His death ignited a rampage by MLB and Antifa demonstrators on Monday evening at Brooklyn Center, who used the incident to emphasize police defunding and “racial equality.” The violent protest ended up with several injured officers and the detention of nearly 40 protesters.