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'A Slap In The Face': Activists, Angered Over Potter Sentence, Demonstrate At Judge's Home

Originally published Feb. 18, 2022

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) -- Police say are investigating after a report of attempted looting in Brooklyn Center, following the sentencing of ex-police officer Kim Potter in Daunte Wright's death. The city's police department told WCCO people looted Icon Beauty Supply around 8:30 p.m.

According to WCCO's Adam Duxter, law enforcement on scene said the store was the only place hit in the city, but added there have been reports of looters in the area.

Hours after calling a press conference in the wake of former police officer Potter's sentencing, Wright's family was once again calling for change.

Around 4:30 p.m. Friday, members of Wright's family joined with community activists and other demonstrators outside of the Hennepin County Government Center to address the media.

The center of their frustration was that Judge Regina Chu had sentenced Potter, who shot and killed Wright during a Brooklyn Center traffic stop in 2021, to two years behind bars. Prosecutors had originally asked for a longer than usual sentence after Potter was found guilty during a jury trial in December 2020. In the days leading to Potters sentencing, those requests were dialed back, and the state recommended Potter be sentenced to seven years.

Chu said the case was one of a "cop who made a tragic mistake," as Potter claimed she had mistakenly drawn her gun instead of her Taser during the moment she shot and killed Wright. The court approved a downward departure from the typical sentence, as Chu said Potter never intended to use her firearm and the scene was chaotic.

Wright's family says Chu's decision to issue a two-year sentence was disheartening.

"We feel more like a slap in the face than anything," said Damik Wright, Daunte's brother. "We feel more like the Attorney General Keith Ellison didn't give his all in this case and settled for less."

Damik Wright says he and his family will continue to fight.

"We want everyone to know that the fight for justice is not over," he said. "And that we stand with everyone else. That's really all we can say."

"This was an opportunity to set an example," said Jonathon McLellan of the Minnesota Justice Coalition. "The court chose to slap Kim Potter, a convicted killer cop, on the hand. While at the same time slapping the family and us in the face."

The late George Floyd's girlfriend, who taught Daunte Wright as a student, also addressed the crowd.

"Why does Minnesota have guidelines for sentencing if we're not going to use them?" said Courteney Ross. "Why if the judge can overrule all of that in a matter of ten seconds do we even have such guidelines?"

The group then took a car caravan to where they believe Chu lives near downtown Minneapolis. The group of nearly 100 parked in the street near the condominium complex for more than a half hour, where Daunte Wright's mother, Katie, thanked the crowd for their support.

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