Former police officer Kim Potter has been found guilty on two counts of manslaughter for the shooting death of Daunte Wright earlier this year.
On Thursday, a Minneapolis jury found Potter guilty of both first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict carries a possible maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
On April 11, Potter fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop when she pulled her gun instead of her taser. Potter testified at her trial last week that she had drawn her weapon because she feared for the safety of another officer on the scene. Body camera footage from the incident revealed Potter warning Wright that she was about to taser him before she fired.
Lawyers on both sides agreed that Potter “mistakenly drew the wrong weapon,” NPR reports, but prosecutors argued that she should have recognized the difference, since the gun was heavier than the taser. They also raised questions regarding whether or not Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center police force, should have drawn her weapon in the first place.
The jury found Potter guilty of first-degree manslaughter, meaning that she improperly used force or violence in such a way that death or “‘great bodily harm … was reasonably foreseeable,’” NBC reports. The conviction of second-degree manslaughter means that she was found guilty of “‘culpable negligence’” that led to “‘unreasonable risks.'”
The shooting took place during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted this year of killing George Floyd back in 2020.
Potter’s trial took place in the same courtroom as Chauvin’s. She is scheduled to be sentenced in February of 2022.