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Today, many people in the nation rejoice as the jury found Kim Potter guilty on all charges. She was found guilty of both first and second-degree manslaughter; each carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and 10 years, respectively. Daunte Wright’s family is ecstatic that Potter is being held accountable for her actions. Nonetheless, they do not consider the verdict any form of justice. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told reporters outside court:
We have a degree of accountability for Daunte’s death…Accountability is not justice. … Justice is beyond the reach that we have in this life for Daunte. But accountability is an important step, a critical, necessary step on the road to justice for us all.
Furthermore, Judge Regina Chu, the judge presiding over this case, has ordered immediate detainment and denied all bail for Potter. She will be behind bars as she awaits her sentencing on Feb. 18, 2022, which is fair considering the fact that Wright’s family will not see him for Christmas or any other holiday for that matter.
“She gave the maximum to Daunte Wright — Daunte Wright is dead,” @TheRevAl says about possible sentencing for Potter. “She took a life, and she should face the maximum, particularly since it’s law enforcement. This is not a civilian.” Many Americans, Black or otherwise, share this sentiment, as they are tired of watching law enforcement kill unarmed Blacks with little to no repercussion.
Plainly speaking, law enforcement has a responsibility to its citizens, and Potter did not abide by them. Being found guilty on all charges against her should hopefully give Potter, and all other law enforcement officials, a chance to reconsider what they believe is a justifiable use of deadly force.
Many believe that Potter’s actions were intentional; that she drew her firearm and shot Wright on purpose and used “Taser, Taser, Taser” as a way to defend her actions by claiming she accidentally drew the wrong weapon. However, with her firearm holstered on the side of her dominant hand and her Taser on the side of her non-dominant hand, how can she mistake one for the other?
Testimony from Florida-based psychologist, Lawrence Miller, claims that Potter experienced what is called “slips and capture” where a person “intends to do one thing and a more routine action unconsciously takes over.” If this were true, one must take note of the fact that drawing her firearm was a “routine action” for Potter.
Who else did she “unconsciously” draw her handgun on? As a trained officer of the law, why was her initial reaction to a suspect — who is trying to run during a traffic stop — to point a gun at them? Has this become standard police protocol? Was there any other way to handle a situation like this without risking the suspect’s life and possible bystanders?
There are so many unanswered questions as to why this officer did not exercise care and value for the life of Wright. Unfortunately, there may never come a time when the nation will get these answers. But, for now, it is a great day when officers, who behave with gross negligence, are at the very least be held accountable for their actions. This gives hope for a future where civilians can regain faith in law enforcement, and the fear of them will dissipate.
Written by Hyleia Kidd
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Kim Potter, ex-Minnesota officer, found guilty of manslaughter in death of Daunte Wright; by David K. Li
Fox News: Kim Potter trial: Minneapolis jury finds ex-police officer guilty in death of Daunte Wright; by Danielle Wallace, Stephanie Pagones
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Chad Davis’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Lorie Shaull’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License