The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Judge Sentenced Former Minnesota Police Officer Kim Potter to 2 Years in Prison


A Minnesota judge sentenced former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter, convicted of two counts of manslaughter in December, to two years in prison Friday, far less than the sentencing range that prosecutors recommended. Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, claiming she intended to fire her Taser instead of her gun.

The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, president and executive director with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

"No amount of time would have brought Daunte Wright back, but the short sentence is a painful reminder for his loved ones and people struggling for racial justice. It reinforces what we already know about the disparate treatment of Black people in the criminal justice system--we are disproportionately labeled as criminals and singled out for arrest, prosecution, and harsh sentences, but our humanity does not seem to be equally valued when we are victimized by crime.

"When keepers of the peace, whether judge, jury, or police officer break the peace it's another stark reminder that our justice system is not blind and is often unfair. Black people and other people of color are not afforded the same grace and consideration that this former officer was given today. That has to change. That is why we continue to fight."

The Lawyers' Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today.

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