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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Addresses Kim Potter Verdict

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A reporter asked White House Press secretary Jen Psaki about the sentence of former police officer Kim Potter in the shooting death of Daunte Wright that some believe was too lenient.

The former police officer was sentenced to 24 months and a fine of $1,000.

The former officer is set to serve 16 months in prison and eight months on supervised release, far below the six years – 8 and ½ years the recommended sentence is for her most serious charge, first degree manslaughter, The Washington Post reported.

The family of Wright, and many on Twitter, were furious with what they believed to be not a big enough sentence for the former officer.

Hennepin County Judge Regina M. Chu said Friday said that Potter made a “tragic mistake … and ended up killing a young man,” but what she did did not have the aggravating factors that would have called for a longer sentence.

“Kim Potter murdered my son. He died April 11,” the victim’s mother Katie Wright said. “Today, the justice system murdered him all over again.”

During the victim impact statement Wright’s mom did not mention Potter by name but called her “the defendant.”

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“I will never be able to forgive you for what you’ve stolen from us,” she said. “A police officer who’s supposed to serve and protect took so much away from us.”

“Please keep in mind the impact this has caused her family and herself is just a small storm that’s going to pass, compared to our life sentence without Daunte,” she argued.

On Wednesday, Scott Jensen, who is campaigning to be governor of Minnesota, said he would consider commuting her sentence.

“I’m glad to hear prosecutors are backing off ridiculous sentences for Officer Kim Potter. I said it last week, I stand with good cops and she made a mistake. I’ll look seriously at commuting her sentence as Governor,” he said.

But many on Twitter were furious.

“Kim Potter sentenced to 2 years for killing Daunte Wright. And the judge is giving her all the sympathy in the world. It really sounded like she was about to give her probation. But this is barely more than that,” MSNBC host Joy Reid said.

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“A Black mom using a false address for her kid to go to a better public school A Black man with a traffic ticket A mom caught shoplifting Simulac In all of those cases they received longer sentences than cop Kim Potter for killing a Black man,” BNC News contributor Ameshia Cross said.

“Kim Potter only received two years for murdering Daunte Wright. Black women have served similar time, and more, for falsifying their address so their children can attend school in a better district,” author Frederick Joseph said.

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The White House Press Secretary was asked what her thoughts were on the sentencing on Friday.

“The former Minneapolis — or suburban Minneapolis Police officer who was convicted of fatally shooting Daunte Wright was sentenced to two years in prison today. Is the President keeping track of this? Is he aware of this sentence? And does he think that this was a sentence that was fitting for this crime?” the reporter said.

“Well, what I can say is that Daunte Wright should be here with his family and loved ones, and his death was the tragic result of a law enforcement officer’s error,” the White House Press Secretary said.

“We know we have a long way to go when it comes to criminal justice and racial equity in this country. That’s why we are committed to not only engaging in conversations about meaningful policing reform, but we will also continue to ensure that the law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to properly train and equip officers to protect our communities. But I’m not going to speak to the specifics of the sentencing outcome,” she said.

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