William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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JUSTICE IS DONE, AND THE LEFT DOESN'T LIKE IT – OVERNIGHT:  Remember Kim Potter?  She's the white Minnesota police officer, with years of honorable service, who, in pursuit of a fleeing black suspect, moved to tase him but, in the heat of the moment, accidentally drew her gun instead and killed him.  After a controversial trial against a background of anti-police hatred, she was convicted of manslaughter.  She has now been sentenced.  From Fox: 

Ex-Minnesota officer Kim Potter was hit with 16 months behind bars for killing Daunte Wright after mistaking her gun for a Taser during a traffic stop.

Judge Regina Chu handed down the sentence over the objection of prosecutors after the former officer apologized to the victim's family. Potter will serve 16 months in prison followed by eight months of supervised release.

"To the family of Daunte Wright, I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father, brother, uncle, grandson and nephew," said Potter, sobbing, as she turned to face them in the courtroom. "Katie, I understand a mother’s love, and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you."

The judge said that Potter honorably served her community for 26 years and hundreds of letters "painted a portrait of a woman who touched a lot of people in a good way."

Chu told the courtroom that Potter was clearly remorseful. "She showed that today, she showed that when it happened," the judge said, fighting back tears. "She never intended to hurt anyone. Her conduct cries out for a sentence significantly below the guidelines." 

The sentencing range on first-degree manslaughter is slightly more than six years to about 8 ½ from which a judge can depart if there are mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

Potter was attempting to arrest Wright on an open warrant April 11 of last year for failure to appear on a weapons charge when she drew her gun instead of her Taser. 

She was trying to protect a fellow officer on the other side of the car, who could have been dragged and seriously injured when Wright tried to drive off, Chu said.

"This is not a cop found guilty of murder for using his knee to pin down a person for 9½ minutes as he gasped for air," said the judge, comparing the case to that of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering George Floyd in the same courthouse. "This is a cop who made a tragic mistake." 

Potter was convicted by a jury in December of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of Wright. Under Minnesota law, a defendant is only sentenced on the top charge.

COMMENT:  There was, of course, instant outrage from the perpetually aggrieved.  They wanted the judge to destroy Kim Potter's life.  They wanted their time on CNN.

But Judge Chu possesses that rarest of attributes – a patient wisdom.  Her work was thorough, her commitment to true justice was inspiring.  The sentence she handed down was correct.  Justice won.  The mob did not.

February 18, 2022