Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that former police officer Kim Potter's guilty verdict for the death of Daunte Wright was a step toward accountability while also offering condolences to Potter and her family.
Ellison, who in September charged Potter with first-degree manslaughter in addition to the initial second-degree manslaughter charge, said that while Thursday's verdict marked a step toward accountability, more needed to be done to achieve justice.
"We have a degree of accountability for Daunte's death," Ellison said at a press conference alongside Wright's parents. "Accountability is not justice. 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."
JURY FINDS FORMER OFFICER KIM POTTER GUILTY IN DAUNTE WRIGHT'S DEATH
He extended sympathy to Potter and encouraged law enforcement officers in light of the verdict.
"My thoughts are also with Miss Potter today. She has gone from being an esteemed member of the community and honored member of a noble profession to being convicted of a serious crime. I don't wish that on anyone," he said. "But it was our responsibility as the prosecution, as ministers of justice, to pursue justice wherever it led, and the jury found the facts. My thoughts are also with 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."
Ellison said he thought it was "a good sign that [Potter] was remorseful" when she took the stand.
"I mean, what decent person wouldn't be brokenhearted and sad if they were involved in something like this?" Ellison asked. "So I wish nothing but the best for her and her family. But the truth is, she will be able to correspond with them and visit with them no matter what happens. But the Wrights won't be able to talk to Daunte."
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Wright's parents gave brief statements in response to reporters' questions. Katie Bryant, Wright's mother, said she "let out a yelp" when she heard the verdict and that "every single emotion that you can imagine" ran through her body. She thanked the prosecution and the community for their support.
Potter said she mistakenly shot Wright to death when she pulled her gun instead of her Taser when he tried to resist arrest during a traffic stop on April 11, but her plea did not convince the jury, which convicted her of first- and second-degree manslaughter charges on Thursday.