Kimberly Potter, the Cop Who Killed Daunte Wright, Had Her First Court Appearance, Was Released on Bond

In this handout provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter poses for a mugshot at the Hennepin County Jail on April 14, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Potter, a 26-year police veteran, was charged with with second-degree manslaughter in the death 20-year-old Daunte Wright who she shot and killed following a traffic stop.
In this handout provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter poses for a mugshot at the Hennepin County Jail on April 14, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Potter, a 26-year police veteran, was charged with with second-degree manslaughter in the death 20-year-old Daunte Wright who she shot and killed following a traffic stop.
Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (Getty Images)

Kimberly Potter, the ex-Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, appeared at a court hearing one day after being charged with second-degree manslaughter.

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Potter appeared via a virtual conference on Zoom and took issue with her first hearing being broadcast and photographed, a curious complaint given how often the lives of the people cops shoot and kill are interrogated extensively.

She is currently out on bail.

Minnesota District Judge Paul R. Scoggin reminded her she is not allowed any access to firearms, ammunition or explosives. Her lawyer said she would appear in person for her next hearing in one month.

Wright’s family wanted Potter to be charged with murder and said anything less would not suffice. The second-degree manslaughter charge carries a max of 10 years in prison, but Minnesota sentencing guidelines would make her time served closer to four years because she doesn’t have a criminal history, according to the Washington Post.

The charge came unusually fast given how cops are often not charged at all and are almost always found not guilty. Cops kill roughly 1,000 people each year, according to a Washington Post database. Most of these people they shoot are armed; Wright was unarmed.

Tim Gannon, the now-former chief of the BCPD, said that Potter meant to pull her Taser when she pulled her handgun. Gannon also resigned in response to the shooting. Potter served on the force for 26 years and was also the union president and has experience helping cops who found themselves in use-of-force situations.

During a press conference before the hearing, Wright’s family expressed their thoughts on what should happen to Potter, per the Post:

“We can’t get him back, so why should she get back her life?” Nyesha Wright, Daunte’s aunt, asked as the family gathered inside the Minneapolis church where his funeral will be held next week.

Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, said even the best-case scenario of a conviction will leave the family with an unbearable loss.

“I do want accountability at the highest level, but even then, when that happens — if that even happens — we’re still going to bury our son,” Katie Wright said. “We’re still not going to be able to see our baby boy. So when people say ‘justice,’ I just shake my head.”

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Potter’s next appearance is scheduled for May 17, in person, per NPR.

Mohamed Noor, an ex-Minneapolis cop who shot and killed Justine Damond, a white woman, in 2017, is believed to be the only Minnesota cop to be convicted of murder in an on-duty situation.

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Next week, the jury in Derek Chauvin’s case is expected to reach a verdict that will hopefully make him the second cop in the state to join Noor in prison.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

DISCUSSION

toobs-n-stuff
Toobs-n-stuff

the absolute minimum here is negligent homicide, but due to her professional credentials it should be upped to Murder 2.

she was the department training officer for “less lethal” weapons, i.e. Tazer. she failed to follow the procedures she herself taught. she had 26 years on the job, long enough that she shouldn’t have panicked when a scared kid tried to bolt.

Tazers have bright yellow markings, a very different shape, sight picture and have a significantly different hand feel than duty weapons, and additionally are carried on the opposite hip precisely to prevent the type of “accident” (I would call it error and failure to follow procedure) that happened here.