Was Justice Served With 16-Month Sentence for Cop Who Killed Man?

Police body cam video of former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter reacting after a traffic stop in which Daunte Wright was shot on April 11, 2021.

This is intended to be more of a discussion of justice, than about the facts of this case.

On Sunday April 11, 2021, 26-year veteran Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Officer Kim Potter and an officer she was training stopped Daunte Wright, 20, around 2 p.m. because his vehicle registration was expired.

During the stop, Potter learned Wright had a warrant for his arrest arising from his non appearance for a hearing on charges of possession of a pistol without a permit and fleeing a police officer.

Wright was also facing trial for an aggravated robbery charge.

Potter and her trainee attempted to arrest Wright, but he chose to get back into his car.

Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said she was on the phone with him when he got into his car.

“I heard scuffling, and I heard the police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run.’ And then the other officer said, ‘Put the phone down,’ and hung it up.”

When Wright chose not to submit, Potter announced she would use her taser. It all happened in seconds. 

Potter’s gun was holstered on the right side of her belt. The taser was on the left, with handles for both facing her back.

The taser is yellow with a black grip and set in straight-draw position. Potter would have to use her left hand to pull it out of the  holster.

Somehow Wright used her right hand and held her Glock 9mm handgun. She pointed it at Wright.

In a body camera video, Potter yells “Taser, taser, taser.”

Potter then pulls the trigger shooting Wright in the chest in his car.

Wright’s car speeds off.

Potter yells, “I grabbed the wrong fucking gun. I shot him. Oh my God. Oh my God.”

Wright in his car went several blocks before crashing into another car. He died at the scene.

Moments after Wright was shot, 100 people were at the scene.

When investigators from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension responded, the “highly agitated” crowd was asked to disperse, and did so.

Later, 200 people marched to the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters. Rocks and other objects were thrown. There were shots fired in the area.

Police formed a perimeter around their building and declared the crowd an unlawful assembly. Police gave them a 10-minute warning to clear out. When the crowd declined, officers fired rubber bullets and flash bangs. Protesters left.

A second group appeared at Shingle Creek Crossing and broke into about 20 businesses.

During the next few nights, dozens were arrested. Officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, and protesters threw bottles or other items.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot ordered a curfew to begin at 10 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.

Attorneys representing Wright’s family said in a statement, “This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force. A 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a taser and a firearm. Kim Potter executed Daunte for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction and a misdemeanor warrant.”

Mayor Elliott expressed support for the removal of officer Potter.

“We will get to the bottom of this,” Mayor Elliott said. “We will do all that is within our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright.”

The mayor spoke with President Biden, who offered “his administration’s support.”

Biden addressed the shooting the following afternoon, calling for an investigation into the “really tragic” incident.

“The question is: was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office.

Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted that “Daunte’s family needs to know why their child is dead — they deserve answers.”

The City Council removed longtime City Manager Curt Boganey, who had refused to fire Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon. Potter resigned from the force. Gannon, given the choice to be fired or resign, also submitted his resignation.

The Minnesota governor declared a regional curfew for the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka, starting Monday at 7 p.m. local time, and ending Tuesday at 6 a.m. local time.

Minnesota mobilized its National Guard to Brooklyn Center at the request of local authorities.

On April 14, three days after the shooting Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.

01 kim potter on stand 1217

Potter expressed remorse at the trial. She sobbed under cross-examination.

A jury had to decide whether she was reckless and negligent. Manslaughter does not require intent, but “culpable negligence” by a person who “takes unreasonable risks.”

The jury convicted her and the judge sentenced her to 16 months.

Kim Potter after she was arrested on the left, and how she looks now on the right. (Minnesota Department of Corrections)

Hard Time

The Minnesota Correctional Facility – Shakopee (MCF-SHK) located in Scott County, is Minnesota’s only facility for female offenders. MCF-SHK is home to 500+ women of all five custody levels.

During Potter’s stay, the warden decided to replace all wood in the prison with metal. She removed wooden closets and drawers, and installed metal bunk beds and storage bins. No more hanging clothes. Prisoners slept on metal beds and lived out of metal bins.

To accomplish her vision, the warden relaxed safety codes for the number of prisoners for every shower, and lowered the square footage per inmate requirements that fire codes and state law require.

By providing small bins, the warden relaxed legal storage space requirements.

Due to overcrowding, the toilets barely flushed with women stuffed into wing lounges four to six deep.

While Potter was there, inmates were cold due to lack of heat from old heating units and no insulation. The average temperature inside the prison in December was in the low 60s. Potter learned to live with cold feet, hands and nose.

On top of that, she was a target in prison. Ex-cops are often placed in segregated or special housing during their prison stay. She likely spent much of her time alone.

Waiting for Her Release

Analyzing how to release Potter last month, the Minnesota Department of Correction found “elevated concern for Ms. Potter’s safety, including threatening comments directed at her and the potential for violent protests outside the Shakopee correctional facility.”

DOC commissioner Paul Schnell decided to release her at 4 a.m. to beat protestors who might harm Potter.

“Her incarceration was just a moment in time,” Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told the Star Tribune. “She cursed us with a forever life sentence.”

When she left prison, Potter moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin. She has eight months to serve on supervised release.

Can Potter Rebuild A Life?

She still faces challenges. She may have difficulty getting a job. Who will employ her with her controversial past? No background check is needed. The first page of an internet search tells all the details.

Opening a bank account or getting insurance will also be challenging for Potter, since they run basic background checks.

What Else Needs to Be Said?

If Potter’s punishment for a tragic mistake seems excessive, I left out the usual way of describing people. Potter was white. Wright was black.

And the context: Potter killed Wright on April 11, 2021 in Minnesota.

In addition to protests over the death of Wright, there were already larger protests ongoing over the killing of another black man, George Floyd, by another white Minnesota cop, Derek Chauvin.

His trial was ongoing when Potter made her fatal mistake.

If It Were a Different Racial Equation, Would Justice Be Different?

Attorney Alan Dershowitz remarked, “Prior to the racial ‘reckoning’ that followed the unjustified killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020, a once-respected officer like Potter would never have been charged with criminal conduct for her tragic mistake. But the public demanded that she be charged. Indeed, some called for her to be accused of murder.”

Is it true?

If the tables were turned. Had it been a black female police officer, with 26 years on the force, who shot a white man refusing to surrender and apparently trying to flee, would she have been charged?

Would the President and the Vice President weigh in for justice for the dead white man?

Would there be protestors? And if there was not, should that weigh in to the calculus of whether to charge a black female officer?

Should protests influence the enforcement of law?

Would the justice system say the black officer made a tragic mistake?

In this hypothetical scenario, the white man had a warrant. The black cop’s duty was to arrest an individual with a warrant. The white man was facing trial for armed robbery. He fled police. She made a mistake in the rush of split second timing. The dead white guy got what’s coming to him.

There was more than a little eulogizing for the slain Wright, with little mention of his criminal past.

In a statement to ABC News, Wright’s family described Wright as a young father who “had a whole life ahead of him” or that he should be remembered as “a great person, making a mark in history.”

Was there a double standard?
This is not to deny that there has been immense racism, or that police have brutally beat and killed black people.
This is only to ask if justice should be based on facts, not the race of the parties involved.
If identical facts would lead to two different legal outcomes based on race, is it still justice?
Is it justice to say that the racial crimes of collective police in US history should impose a presumption to convict when the slain is black, as opposed to white?
Protesters gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Whether it’s a white cop getting charged for a fatal mistake, in which a black man contributed by running away, or a black man who has only known poverty, charged for a crime without evidence – by a system that knows he can’t defend himself and ergo a public defender will plead him into prison, when if he were white and could afford an attorney, they would be quick to bring flimsy charges – there is a disparity in what we call the justice system.
In the Potter case, the media pounced on race, without indicating exactly how Potter’s fatally mistaken actions were based on the race of the slain man.
Who knows if there was a subtle racism in play?
Would Potter have tried to taser Wright if he were white? Would she have stopped him in the first place?
This was a tragedy, which some used to stoke the flames of a justice system not interested in burning justice, but convictions and headlines. To mollify the crowd and the media. And some used it to make headlines, to stoke the flames of profit, self-aggrandizement and racism.
Wright was a victim who contributed to his fate. Was Potter a victim, or did she deserve what she got, or worse?
If a black cop was convicted of the identical manslaughter charge, would he get only 16 months like Potter?
The best way to answer these questions is to blindfold justice.
Know nothing of the race, the gender, the protests, the previous history of the slain or the slayer. Care nothing about pandering to the angry crowd, and less about conviction stats or headlines, good or bad.
Judge only the facts of what was approximately 90 seconds in the lives of two people, the last 90 seconds for Wright, the most consequential for Potter – judge it with blindfold, and see if the result remains the same.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • The kids on the phone with his mother. It was a registration violation. If the cops
    pointing right at his chest snd he’s unarmed, was it necessary to taser him at all? Doesn’t sound like he was going anywhere if tasered at such close range.

    Such a waste. Where’s the training? She’s holding it right in front of her own face. Did she not notice ut was a taser she was pointing?

    • The officer might have had PTSD. Nerves and the nervous system have a mind of their own.

  • The few hundred “white” people who control the entire world want you to focus on skin color (just not their skin color).

    Multinational corporations own all the local, national and international mainstream news outlets and most people think mainstream news is everything they need to know. Owners of most multinational news corporations want everyone to think certain thoughts about The Ukraine. For example, many light-skinned people live in The Ukraine.

    The Ukraine matters more to you than Ethiopia. All dark-skinned people living in Ethiopia right now don’t matter. Wear yellow and blue today and remember: Slava Ukraini!

    • The few hundred “white” people who control the entire world want you to focus on skin color (just not their skin color) because that’s how they and their kind think.

      Why else would the few hundred “elite” — actually probably a few thousand, or maybe tens of thousands — controlling the entire world keep most of the world in poverty and in war to reap the proceeds of all that debt and all that war?

      “… In “The Secret Doctrine” (1888), Helena Blavatsky uses the term “race” in complicated ways. The idea that she wasn’t ultimately a garden variety 19th century racist, however, is difficult to defend given what she says on page 421 …”

  • “1. Critical Race Theory (CRT) makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life.

    2. CRT reimagines the U.S. as a nation split by groups, each with specific claims on victimization.

    3. CRT’s intolerance can be found in schools, the workplace, and the entertainment sector, “normalizing” belief in systemic racism for the average American. …”


  • Reminds me of the time another female cop walked into her apartment, saw a black intruder, and shot him dead there and then without so much as a how’s your father. Pretty bad right? Only it wasn’t her apartment. And he wasn’t an intruder – he lived there. Whoops! Easy to mistake to make…not.

    Ever thought maybe cops shouldn’t be armed? But they need to defend themselves from all the bad people out there carrying weapons. How about THEY shouldn’t be armed either? Be great for the school kids too, who won’t have to keep doing dodge the armed psycho drills in school from the age of 4.

    Still, it’s all about the 2nd amendment, right? And what would all those loving families do without being able to take their little Johnny and Mary down to the shooting range of a weekend and train them how to kill?

  • She should have gotten 5 years for involuntary manslaughter.

    A police officer should be held to a higher standard.

    Every week there are millions of interactions between the police and citizens, and almost all 99.99999% of those interactions are without incident.
    There are 332,278,000 people in the US mistakes get made.
    Yes there are bad cops, but the overwhelming majority are not murders.

    • White like a piece of paper?

      His mother had light skin. He had light skin.

      Why are people so fooled into discussing skin color?

      Would the police officer stop Oprah or Barack Obama if they were doing what that young man was doing? Probably not because the police officer would have recognized Oprah and Barack, right?

      What if a “white” woman, thin and obviously under the influence of a drug did what Duante did? Would the police officer have reached for the gun and fired it instead of the taser? What if someone else had been in the car with Duante?

      Would the officer have responded in the same way?

      Who knows?

      And why are so many brainwashed commenters guessing what happened while thinking ONLY about skin color?

    • It’s an insult their family raised a thief. She killed someone that deserved to die.

  • When a crime against a black person occurs, it’s racist.

    When a black person commits a crime against a white person, it’s not racist. (Google Tessa Majors–why when a minor black person commits a crime are the parents not charged??)

    A police officer has a statistical 15x chance of being killed by a black person than by a white person.

    Let’s discuss that.

      • Anonymous 6:57, I’m an old white dude and I’ve had antagonistic stops in my life time.

        There’s a driving while white, too.

        Sit there and answer the cop politely. Hands in front of you. Every one of these case involves someone who thinks they don’t have to follow the law and they run.

        The black family was destroyed by the Great War on Poverty in the 60’s and LBJ. It promoted the destruction of the black family. In addition, the use of corporal punishment in black families is still extremely prevalent:


        When you have no nuclear family, mom is popping out kids from multiple fathers because the system encourages it, and the belt comes out, and you’re raised on the street, society is asking for trouble, and that’s EXACTLY what has happened.

        Now, look at Tessa Majors–a 13 year old PUNK plunges a knife into a young, aspiring concert pianist. Crimes against whites happen ALL the time.

        Where is the crime for racism?

        And Alvin Bragg and Hochul letting thugs go free is only encouraging criminals.

        Try and defend yourself and YOU end up in jail.

        Yeah, the cops have become armed revenue agents and a lot of them are assholes–but not all. I wouldn’t want that job for ANY amount of money. The “Thin blue line” is all that’s separating us from the anarchy we are seeing now and a civilized society.

  • If Potter was a rookie I could see her MAYBE making the left handed mistake. 26 year veteran probably taught her to lie really really good. Wright and Floyd were pieces of shit. If all the stupid people knew their martyrs were rapist, robbers and counterfeiters would it have changed the outcome? No one talks about the scum Floyd. Both Wright and Floyd were fleeing from warrants. Potter was only doing her job. Chauvan, now he literally killed Floyd. I bet all the women Floyd hurt and people he robbed agreed he deserved it. Chauvan was like a hunter kneeling on his captured black panther.

  • It’s a good discussion to have. There are a lot of what ifs in this piece.

    If you really believe in reversing things and asking what ifs.

    What if this officer was wrong about the identity of the person they pulled over and shot a completely innocent person?

    Should they go to prison for longer?

    What if…this officer shot and hit somebody who was also in the car? What if it was a child? What if it was a teenager who borrowed the car? What if. What if.what if.

    What if the officer shot and hit accidentally hit a passerby?

    The person who was shot by the police officer is gone forever.

    The police officer got a light sentence

    It’s perplexing bit, asit’s described, seems like the officer and trainee found out the driver’s history during the course of the stop.

    If they ran his registration, they already would have known all of that history, before they exited the car.

    The police officer could have called for backup.

    It also raisng the question some of the training practices.

    It seems like there should have been two fully trained police officers and then a trainee. Maybe?

    Possibly a tragedy could have been prevented and two lives wouldn’t be permanently altered, Plus a family who is no doubt heartbroken. And a a community that is clearly upset.

  • April 11, 2021 was about 11 months after George Floyd was killed. Daunte Wright was killed was just a few miles from where George Floyd died.

    Did the George Floyd world-wide phenomenon that followed make Daunte so afraid that he tried to escape? Did it make the officer so stressed she thought her gun was a taser?

    The former police officer and that young man were both victims of a purposely volatile time and place. That simple traffic simply lit a match. If the race baiting and purposeful destruction of our nation continues, we shouldn’t be surprised if simple traffic stops get more and more dangerous.


  • It is exclusively a racial issue. It is not about anything else. It is about decimating the white population of the world. The white race is being harassed throughout Europe and America as never before. This sham trial is yet another piece of evidence in a long list of tests.

      • I, as a European who observes the change that Europe is undergoing, can tell you the following. There is a genocide against whites. It is the current planned demographic process that seeks to reduce or eliminate the white population of the world. It is a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at destroying the essential foundations of the life of national groups, in order to annihilate the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan are the disintegration of political and social institutions, of culture, language, national sentiments, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of personal security, liberty, health , the dignity and even the life of the individuals belonging to such groups… Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group [called: denationalization]; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. The genocide against the white race is carried out through forced government policies and social engineering covered by a specific ideological framework implicitly accepted as the theoretical set that represents cultural Marxism.

  • Sixteen months prison was appropriate. It was a clear case of involuntary or negligent homicide or manslaughter or however state law terms it. A fatal accident due to fucking up.

    Killing a person because of a mistake like that should be punished IMO.

    For an example of injustice, look to Alec Baldwin getting all charges against him dropped https://thefederalist.com/2023/05/04/alec-baldwin-gets-the-best-justice-money-can-buy/
    He shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins to death through gross negligence.

    As for mixing up the taser and the gun, as unlikely as it seems, things like this happen. Drivers stomp down on the accelerator thinking it’s the brake pedal (see “sudden unintended acceleration”). Stress and panic is no friend to the thought process. Tunnel vision takes over. The number one killer of scuba divers is stress and panic. Pilots will pull the yoke up when their plane is in aerodynamic stall.

    Former officer Potter’s mistake was understandable but deserved the prison sentence.

    • The last paragraph
      Blindfolded is the best way to handle this!
      26 years of service , both a victim of the times.
      Alex Baldwin was also the producer, he absolutely deserves a penalty , shots fired of real bullets before this incident on Set. Pointed straight at her knowing live ammunition was in ser.

    • But Alec Baldwin isn’t trained with guns and liability falls to the production company that allowed this hazard to begin with.

      • Wait a second. We need discuss the actual colors involved.

        His skin color was Pantone 58-6 C.
        The police officer’s skin color is Pantone 58-8 C.
        Did the reflection of the interior color of his car make a difference?

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
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