Kim Potter in a photo released by Hennepin County Sheriff’s Services on April 14, 2021-
A U.S. policewoman who killed a young African-American driver during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis in April was convicted of manslaughter on Thursday.
Kim Potter, 49, has always claimed to have drawn his service weapon believing he was using his electric Taser gun while Daunte Wright, 20, resisted his arrest in Brooklyn Center, in the northern United States.
The jury found her guilty of manslaughter after three days of deliberations in a court in Minneapolis, where this drama had reopened the wounds of the murder of George Floyd.
The former policewoman, who pleaded not guilty, did not react on Thursday when the verdict was announced. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison in total and is expected to be determined in February.
On April 11, 2021, the policewoman was on patrol with a colleague who had decided to check the driver of a white Buick who had committed a minor traffic violation. After realizing that he was the subject of an arrest warrant, they decided to arrest him.
The policewoman described a “potentially dangerous” situation. The young man, who was unarmed, had not let himself be handcuffed and had restarted his car to flee. Kim Potter then drew what she said to think was her electric gun.
“We were fighting to prevent him from running away, and then it became chaos. I remember shouting + Taser, Taser, Taser + and nothing happens. And he (his colleague, editor’s note) told me that I had shot him, “she told the stand Friday, before bursting into tears.
His lawyer, Paul Engh, pleaded human error and the effect of stress because he said she was trying to protect his colleague.
But for prosecutor Erin Eldridge, Daunte Wright died from the reckless handling of a weapon and the negligence of an officer who had 26 years of experience.
The death of Daunte Wright had moved the United States because it intervened during the trial of white policeman Derek Chauvin who, in May 2020 in Minneapolis, asphyxiated black forty-something George Floyd.
Gatherings enamelled with violence had taken place several nights in a row in Brooklyn Center before the arrest of Kim Potter calmed down.