“Initially for both counts, we were predominantly ‘guilty,’” said the unidentified juror regarding the Kim Potter verdict.
Two days before Christmas, a Minneapolis jury convicted former police officer Kim Potter of two manslaughter charges in the killing of Daunte Wright, a Black motorist she shot during a traffic stop, claiming she confused her gun for her Taser.
One of the jurors is now speaking out about the guilty verdict for the 26-year police veteran, who was convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter.
“Initially for both counts, we were predominantly ‘guilty,’” the unidentified juror told NBC affiliate KARE 11 of Minneapolis.
Former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, officer Kim Potter (left) and 20-year-old Daunte Wright (right), who she shot to death. (Photo: State of Minnesota/Facebook)
The Associated Press reported that the mostly white jury deliberated for about four days before finding the 49-year-old former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, officer guilty. Potter faces about seven years in prison on the most serious count under the state’s sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors said they would seek a longer term.
Per the AP report, Potter, who is white, shot and killed 20-year-old Wright during an April 11 traffic stop in Brooklyn Center as she and other officers were trying to arrest him on an outstanding warrant for a weapons possession charge. Potter told jurors during testimony that she was “sorry it happened,” and the traffic stop “just went chaotic.”
“The day that we asked the judge what would happen if we can’t reach a decision, we were evenly split on manslaughter 1 at four guilty, four not guilty and four ‘I have no idea,’” the juror revealed.
“And at that point, we were just arguing semantics and kind of in circles. … Those last couple days were literally just focusing in on the language of the law,” the juror said.
Wright’s parents said earlier this year that they can’t accept his killing was a “mistake,” theGrio reported.
“I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice,” said his mother, Katie Wright, in an interview with ABC News‘ Robin Roberts in April. “But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did.”
Wright’s mother was on the phone with him when she heard him being pulled over by police and asked to step out of the car.
“Daunte said, ‘For what, am I in trouble?’ I heard the phone getting put down pretty hard,” she said. “And then I heard scuffling, and the girl that was with him screaming, and I heard an officer ask for them to hang up the phone, and then I didn’t hear anything else.”
“I tried to call back three, four times, and the girl that was with him answered the phone, and she said that they shot him, and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive,” the tearful mother added. “And then I heard an officer ask her to hang up the phone again, and then after that, that’s the last time I’ve seen my son.”
Potter’s lawyers argued that she made a mistake by drawing her gun instead of her Taser during the traffic stop.
“I don’t want to speak for all the jurors, but I think we believed she was a good person and even believed that she was a good cop,” the juror said. “No one felt she was intentional in this. … We felt like she was a good person, we felt she made a mistake, and that a mistake does not absolve you from the fact she did commit a crime.”
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