Feb 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Daunte Wright's family on Potter sentencing: System "murdered" him "all over again"

Picture of Daunte Wright's parents: Aubrey Wright on the right, and Katie Ann wright on the left
Daunte Wright's parents, Aubrey Wright and Katie Wright react after the sentencing hearing for ex-officer Kim Potter. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Daunte Wright's mother, Katie Wright, said Friday that the justice system "murdered" her son "all over again," after former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was sentenced to two years for shooting the 20-year-old Black man.

The big picture: Potter, who is white, was sentenced to serve 16 months in prison and the rest on supervised release, Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu ruled.

  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison had asked the judge to impose a sentence of 86 months, or seven years and two months.
  • Following the sentencing, the judge, who called Potter "remorseful," said, "to those who disagree and feel a longer prison sentence is appropriate, as difficult as it may be, please try to empathize with Miss Potter’s situation."

Context: Potter and another officer pulled over Wright in Brooklyn Center on April 11 for a hanging air freshener and expired tags, according to an amended criminal complaint.

  • Potter shot and killed Wright while attempting to take him into custody over a separate, active arrest warrant discovered during the stop.

What they're saying: "Kim Potter murdered my son, and he died April 11. Today, the justice system murdered him all over again," said Wright's mother during a press conference.

  • "Pouring my heart out in my victim impact statement that took so long to write ... to not get a response out of the judge at all, but then when it came down to ... sentencing Kim Potter, [the judge] broke down in tears," she added.
  • "We are standing here to say that we're very disappointed in the outcome," she said.
  • "This isn't okay, this is the problem with our justice system today: white women's tears trump justice," she added, referring to how Potter cried on the stand while apologizing for killing Wright.

Aubrey Wright, Daunte Wright's father, said he was "hurt" and "very upset" by his son being gone.

  • "And it seemed to me that nobody even cared," he said. The court "was so tied up into [Potter's] feelings and what ... was going with her, that they forgot about my son being killed."
  • He added that his family thought they were going to get "a little justice," saying, "I walk out of this court feeling like people are laughing at us because [Potter] got a slap on the wrist, and we still, every night, sit around crying, waiting on my son to come home."

The family's attorneys, Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci and Jeff Storms, said in a statement that the family was "completely stunned."

  • "While there is a small sense of justice because she will serve nominal time, the family is also deeply disappointed there was not a greater level of accountability. The Judge's comments at sentencing showed a clear absence of compassion for the victim in this tragedy and were devastating to the family."
  • "Judge Chu’s comments about Potter resembled those of a job recommendation and not that of a senseless and preventable death of a promising life."

Go deeper: Ex-officer Kim Potter sentenced to 2 years for shooting Daunte Wright

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