Daunte Wright’s mother says court ‘murdered my son all over again’ after Kim Potter sentenced to two years

‘White women tears trumps justice’

Katie Wright gives victim impact statement during sentencing of Kim Potter
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The mother of slain Black man Daunte Wright expressed outrage at her son’s killer Kim Potter being sentenced to only two years, saying: “Today the justice system murdered my son all over again.”

Katie Wright spoke outside the Hennepin County Court on Friday after Potter, a former Minneapolis police officer, was handed a 24 month sentence – of which she will spend only 16 months behind bars and the rest on supervised release.

“We are very disappointed in the sentence. This isn’t okay,” she said. Referencing the judge’s assertion that Potter showed remorse, the mother said: “White women tears trumps justice.”

During the hearing, Katie Wright addressed Potter directly in her victim impact statement, saying: “I’ll never be able to forgive you for what you’ve stolen from us.”

She demanded that Potter face the maximum penalty under the law for shooting dead Wright, 20, during a traffic stop on 11 April 2021 after she claimed she mistook her gun for her taser.

Describing how she watched Potter’s distress in the moments after the shooting, she said: “She referred to Daunte over and over again as the driver, as if killing him wasn’t enough to dehumanize him. She never once said his name, and for that, I’ll never be able to forgive you.”

The mother continued: “A police officer who was supposed to serve and protect someone took so much from us. She took our baby boy with a single gunshot through his heart, and she shattered mine. My life and my world will never, ever be the same.

“A police officer that took the oath to serve and protect for 26 years, but not on this day. On this day, she did not protect. She failed Daunte, our family and our community.”

Kim Potter addresses the court at her sentencing on 18 February 2022

Addressing the judge, she said: “Your honor, I’m asking you to hold the defendant to the highest accountability, to the person of authority who portrayed her badge not only when she shot Daunte but when she rolled around on the ground crying for herself, ‘I’m going to prison’.

“She should have in fact said, ‘Please go save him. How is he doing? Is he okay? Please help him.’ She didn’t even try, your honor. She didn’t try to save him. You should have done better.

“Your honor, I’m stuck with three questions I ask myself: How do you show remorse when you’re smiling in your mugshot after being sentenced to manslaughter after taking my son’s life? How do you say you’re sorry with no tears? How much time is my son’s life worth?”

Kim Potter seen in a booking photo following her arrest for killing Daunte Wright

Wright’s father, Arbuey Wright, also gave a statement about how Potter “damaged my whole family’s heart”.

“Everything we do as a family ends in tears, because all we have is memories left of our son. What should be happy times turns into sadness,” he said as he fought back tears.

He spoke about Potter’s 26 years in law enforcement, saying: “Kim Potter was trained, and was trained to prevent this type of thing from ever happening. She was a police officer longer than my son was alive. I ask that Kim Potter be held accountable and that the maximum sentence be applied, which is incomparable to the life sentence we have been given because [of] her negligence.

“My son Daunte’s life was taken away way too soon and he’s never coming back.”

Potter offered an apology to the family before the sentence was handed down, saying: “I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew and the rest of your family to your home.”

Addressing Wright’s mother, she added: “Katie, I understand a mother’s love and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you.”

“Earlier, when you said that I didn’t look at you during the trial, I don’t believe I had a right to. I didn’t even have a right to be in the same room with you. I am so sorry that I hurt you so badly.”

She continued: “I pray for Daunte and all of you many, many times a day. He is not more than one thought away from my heart and I have no right for that, for him to be in my heart.

"And I do pray that one day, you can find forgiveness, only because hatred is so destructive to all of us. And that I pray peace will always be with you and your family. Again, I am so sorry. 

“And to the community of Brooklyn Center, I owe you all an apology to you. I loved working for you and I am sorry what’s happened to our community since the death of Daunte. And the men and women who work for you still are good, honorable people and will work hard for you.”

Explaining her reasoning behind the sentence, Judge Regina Chu noted that Potter had “honourably served for 26 years as a police officer. She was a respected officer and consistently went over and above the call of duty.”

She added Potter’s conduct “was significantly less serious than your typical manslaughter case”.

“Officer Potter never intended to use her firearm. She mistakenly drew her firearm at all times intending to use her Taser,” she said.

Judge Chu appeared to be fighting back tears as she spoke, calling this “one of the saddest cases I’ve had in 20 years on the bench”.

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