Ex-Minnesota officer Kim Potter was hit with 16 months behind bars for killing Daunte Wright after mistaking her gun for a Taser during a traffic stop – a punishment significantly below the recommended minimum.
Judge Regina Chu handed down the sentence in a Minneapolis courtroom over the objection of prosecutors after the former officer apologized to the victim’s family. Potter will serve 16 months in prison followed by eight months of supervised release.
“To the family of Daunte Wright, I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew,” said Potter, 49, sobbing, as she turned to address the slain man’s mother directly. “Katie, I understand a mother’s love, and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you.”
The judge said that Potter honorably served her community for 26 years and hundreds of letters “painted a portrait of a woman who touched a lot of people in a good way.”
“She never intended to hurt anyone,” said Judge Regina Chu, fighting back tears. “Her conduct cries out for a sentence significantly below the guidelines.”