On the first and more serious count, first-degree manslaughter, for killing Daunte Wright, the jury finds Kimberly Potter guilty.

On the second count, second-degree manslaughter, for killing Daunte Wright, the jury finds Kimberly Potter guilty.

This verdict is likely to surprise many experts who felt a conviction would be tough because the evidence was much more in line with the typical police killing case – in which jurors have historically sided with officers – than the case against Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd. Here – unlike in Chauvin – the defense argued that Potter made a split-second decision in a dangerous situation.

Kimberly Potter looked down as the verdict was read, then held her head up. She did not appear to cry. Two of her lawyers held her shoulders. She looked briefly at the jurors whose decision will probably send her to prison for years.

The judge said she would order that Kimberly Potter immediately be taken to jail, where she would be held without bail until a sentencing hearing. Potter’s lawyers are asking for the judge to instead set bail, saying that Potter feels “overwhelming” remorse. Her lead lawyer, Paul Engh, adds: “It is the Christmas holiday season. She is a devoted Catholic, no less. There is no point to incarcerate her.”

The prosecution and defense had agreed that the shooting was a mistake and that Ms. Potter, who is white, had meant to draw her Taser when she fatally shot Mr. Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop.

MINNEAPOLIS — The former police officer who fatally shot a man in a Minneapolis suburb after seeming to mistake her gun for her Taser was convicted of two counts of manslaughter on Tuesday, a rare guilty verdict for a police officer that will probably send her to prison for years.

The jury of 12 took more than 27 hours over four days to reach the unanimous guilty verdicts for Kimberly Potter, a 49-year-old white woman who testified that she had never fired her gun on the police force in Brooklyn Center, Minn., until April 11, when she shot a single bullet into the chest of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who had been driving to a carwash.

A judge will sentence Ms. Potter at a later hearing. The standard sentence for the more serious charge, first-degree manslaughter, is within a range of about six to eight and a half years in prison; the maximum penalty is 15 years, and prosecutors have indicated that they will ask the judge to hand down a longer-than-average prison term.

Body camera videos from April 11 showed that Mr. Wright had gotten back into the driver’s seat of his car after pulling away from another officer who was trying to handcuff him. A judge had issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Wright that month after Mr. Wright missed a court date on a gun charge.


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