Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was immediately hauled away to a Shakopee prison after being found guilty in the death of Daunte Wright. It was two days before Christmas. She had no criminal history, wasn’t a flight risk, and posed zero risk of reoffending, her attorneys argued.
But a judge refused to let her spend the holidays with her family and she hasn’t been allowed to receive any visitors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So her friends and supporters gathered outside the prison Saturday in a spot that Potter said she can see from her window. They plan to do so again this Saturday.
“Mainly it’s just to get the word out [and] just let everyone know what a real person she is. She’s not a criminal,” one person involved in organizing the demonstration told Alpha News.
They held signs calling for Potter’s release and plan to have a bus full of supporters attend Potter’s Feb. 18 sentencing. First-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 15 years, but she will likely face somewhere between 6 to 8½ years.
“She’s just a really good person. She lived her life right. She raised kids, she volunteers. I supervised her for a number of years. I was with her up until the time that I retired,” said Frank Roth, a retired police officer and close friend of Potter.
“She just lives life the way that as a parent you’d hope your kids do. She’s been a positive reflection on anything she got involved in,” Roth told Alpha News.
Roth said Potter “immediately volunteered” for some of the most difficult police work, such as Brooklyn Center’s domestic abuse response team or its crisis negotiation team.
“She would do any role. She’s just never been about the glory or anything. It’s just always been just to help,” he said.
Despite the circumstances, Roth said he’s heard Potter is doing well and expects to talk with her over the phone this week.
“From what I’ve heard, she’s doing remarkably well,” he said. “I think she quickly became a favorite of a lot of people down there besides just the guards. It’s like she got a bowl of lemons and she’s making lemonade.”