Kim Potter found guilty in Daunte Wright shooting

By Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0119 GMT (0919 HKT) December 24, 2021
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5:39 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

Kim Potter transferred to Minnesota correctional facility

From CNN’s Adrienne Broaddus

(Minnesota Department of Corrections)
(Minnesota Department of Corrections)

Former police officer Kimberly Potter has been transferred to Minnesota Correctional Facility – Shakopee, about 25 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. 

Earlier today, a jury found Potter guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal April shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Prosecutors asked that Potter's bail be revoked, which was granted by Judge Regina Chu. 

The former Brooklyn Center police officer was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom.

A sentencing date was set for Friday, February 18 at 10 a.m. ET.

5:06 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

These are the charges Kim Potter was convicted of

Kim Potter was found guilty today of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter charges for fatally shooting Daunte Wright during a traffic-stop-turned-arrest on April 11, 2021. In body camera footage of the incident, Potter, can be heard yelling “Taser” repeatedly before she shoots Wright.

Potter was originally charged with second-degree manslaughter in April. Prosecutors added a first-degree manslaughter charge in early September.

Here's a look at the charges and maximum sentences:

Count 1: First-Degree Manslaughter Predicated on Reckless Use/Handling of a Firearm
Maximum penalty: 15 years and/or $30,000 fine
Count 2: Second-Degree Manslaughter
Maximum penalty: 10 years and/or $20,000 fine

While the maximum penalty for first-degree manslaughter is 15 years in prison, since Potter has no criminal history, Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence roughly between 6 to 8.5 years in prison. For the second-degree manslaughter charge, the guidelines recommend between 3.5 to nearly 5 years in prison.

In October, prosecutors informed the court they intend to seek a more severe penalty than state guidelines call for when Potter is sentenced, claiming that she abused her position of authority and that her conduct caused "greater-than-normal danger to the safety of other people."

3:56 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

Daunte Wright's mother: "I kind of let out a yelp" after guilty verdict

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Katie Bryant, Daunte Wright's mother
Katie Bryant, Daunte Wright's mother (Pool)

Katie Bryant, the mother of Daunte Wright, said she felt a lot of "emotions" the moment she heard former police officer Kim Potter was found guilty.

"I kind of let out a yelp, because it was built up in the anticipation of what was to come while we were waiting for the last days," Bryant said at a news press conference.

Bryant went on to praise the prosecution and the community for their support.

"We want to thank the entire prosecution team," Bryant said. "We want to thank community support, everybody who has been out there that has supported us in this long fight for accountability."

Potter was found guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal April shooting of Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. She will be sentenced on Feb. 18, 2022.

4:08 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

What the scene was like outside the courthouse after the guilty verdict

The family of Daunte Wright celebrate a guilty verdict for Kim Potter outside of the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, December 23, in Minneapolis.
The family of Daunte Wright celebrate a guilty verdict for Kim Potter outside of the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, December 23, in Minneapolis. (Christian Monterrosa/AP)

Moments after the guilty verdict was read, CNN's Omar Jimenez described what the scene was like outside of the courthouse's south entrance in Minneapolis.

"You can see people that have pulled up with portraits, even this one right in front with Daunte Wright in particular, familiar signs of Black Lives Matter, you see other faces and names that have been popped up," Jimenez reported.

"People feel that whenever one of these verdicts come, it's not just for this particular case but it's about so many other names and faces, especially Black ones, that have come into these types of interactions with police," he continued.

( Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images)
( Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images)

Jimenez spoke to some people waiting for a verdict outside the building, including a woman who said the verdict is "proof that the world can change and do better for us Black people, us minorities in this world."

"That's all I want. I have a Black son growing up in this world. You can imagine my fear for him. Daunte wasn't doing nothing, didn't have no gun, no nothing and got killed. Who's to say who's the next man that is going to get killed?" she told Jimenez. "We just need change, that's all. It should have never happened. We fought for this."

3:49 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

Minnesota attorney general's message to law enforcement: Accountability "does not diminish you"

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sent a message to those who work in law enforcement and public safety, following Kim Potter being found guilty of first and second degree manslaughter for the death of Daunte Wright.

"We hold you in high regard, and we also hold you to high standards. We don't want you to be discouraged," Ellison said. "

"Your community respects and appreciates you. We want you to uphold the highest ideals of our society and ideals of safety," he said.

Ellison continued: "When a member of your profession is held accountable, it does not diminish you. In fact...  It shows the whole world that those of you who enforce the law are also willing to live by it. And that's a good thing. It restores trust, faith and hope."

Ellison also said that his "thoughts are with Ms. Potter today."

"She has gone from being an esteemed member of the community and honored member of a noble profession to be convicted of a serious crime. I don't wish that on anyone. But it was our responsibility as the prosecution, as ministers of justice, to pursue justice wherever it led and the jury found the facts," Ellison said.

3:42 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

Juror seen crying after Potter verdict was read, according to reporter in the courtroom

From CNN's Brad Parks

A female juror in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter was seen crying following the reading of the verdict on Thursday, according to a pool reporter in court. 

Juror No. 4 was "seen crying" as Judge Regina Chu thanked the members of the jury, saying she was proud of them and calling them heroes. Another juror sitting next to Juror No. 4 was seen reaching out and putting his hand on her arm, according to the pool report.  

Minutes later Juror number 4 was observed still shaking and crying as the jury stood to leave the courtroom.

3:38 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

Minnesota attorney general on guilty verdict: "We have a degree of accountability for Daunte's death"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that the jury finding Kim Potter guilty of first and second degree manslaughter gave "a degree of accountability" for Daunte Wright's death.

Ellison continued, "Accountability is not justice. Justice is restoration. Justice would be restoring Daunte to life and making the Wright family whole again. Justice is beyond the reach that we have in this life for Daunte. But accountability is an important step, a critical, necessary step on the road to justice for us all."

The attorney general said his "thoughts are also with Ms. Potter today."

"She has gone from being an esteemed member of the community and honored member of a noble profession to be convicted of a serious crime. I don't wish that on anyone. But it was our responsibility as the prosecution, as ministers of justice, to pursue justice wherever it led and the jury found the facts," Ellison said.

The attorney general also sent a message to those who work in law enforcement and public safety.

"We hold you in high regard, and we also hold you to high standards. We don't want you to be discouraged. Your community respects and appreciates you. We want you to uphold the highest ideals of our society and ideals of safety," he said.

"When a member of your profession is held accountable, it does not diminish you. In fact, it shows. It shows the whole world that those of you who enforce the law are also willing to live by it. And that's a good thing. It restores trust, faith and hope," he continued.

3:27 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

NOW: Daunte Wright's attorneys and family respond to verdict

Daunte Wright's legal team, along with his family, are speaking to reporters following the guilty verdict in the trial of former police officer Kim Potter.

Potter was found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal April shooting of Wright during a traffic-stop-turned-arrest on April 11.

Potter, 49, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. She took the stand and testified before the jury, breaking down in tears as she recounted the shooting, eventually apologizing and insisting she "didn't want to hurt anybody." During her emotional testimony, Potter said she remembered "yelling 'Taser, Taser, Taser,' and nothing happened, and then he told me I shot him." 

The maximum penalty for first-degree manslaughter predicated on reckless use/ handling of a firearm is 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine. However, since Potter has no criminal history, Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence roughly between 6 and 8.5 years in prison. 

Her sentencing date has been set for Feb. 18, 2022.

4:04 p.m. ET, December 23, 2021

Potter's husband was heard yelling "I love you, Kim," as she was taken into custody

Fromm CNN's Brad Parks

As former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom on Thursday, Potter's husband, Jeff, was heard yelling "I love you, Kim," according to a pool reporter in court. 

“I love you back,” Potter replied.

Potter was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter charges for fatally shooting Daunte Wright during a traffic-stop-turned-arrest on April 11, 2021. She will be sentenced on Feb. 18, 2022.