by Lord Serious
Judge Regina Chu sentenced former officer Kim Potter to serve two-thirds of a 2 year sentenced in the custody of the Department of Corrections for the manslaughter of Daunte Wright. Mr. Wright was pulled over for expired tags and having an air freshener hanging from his windshield mirror. Typically a minor traffic violation would result in nothing more than a fine. But after running his name, it was revealed that Mr. Wright had a bench warrant out for his arrest. Upon learning that he was being placed under arrest, Mr. Wright jumped back into his car and tried to drive off. At this point officer Potter, a 26-year vet claims that she mistook her firearm for her taser and Mr. Wright was fatally shot.
A jury of her peers found Mrs. Potter guilty and the guidlines called for her to receive a sentence that ranged from 6 years to 15 years in prison.
Usually, in police involved shootings of unarmed Black men our ability to prosecute the offending officer has been impeded by Grand Juries that have refused to indict. But in this case, not only did the Grand Jury determine that enough evidence existed to prosecute Kim Potter for manslaughter, but at the conclusion of Kim Potter’s trial 12 jurors were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty of all charges.
What makes this case stand out from all others in my mind is that, this time it was the judge and not the Grand Jury who undermined our ability to impose a sentence that would deter other officers from displaying this same predatory behavior towards unarmed Blacks. Even after a verdict has been reached, the criminal justice system still fails to dispense justice equally.
While making her ruling Judge Chu became emotional at times and made judicial comments to stave off criticism of her extremely light sentence. Judge Chu’s perspective can be summed up as this: 1) The officer should have never been indicted and charged for carrying out her lawful duties, and 2) Black people need to get over their feelings of distrust and anger toward the criminal justice system because we have the duty to keep peace. Judge Chu also quoted former President Obama out of context, suggesting that Blacks stop identifying with the pain felt by Mr. Wright’s family, and instead identify with Mrs. Potter by placing ourselves in her shoes. Kim Potter would receive a 16 month sentence, which is a substantial deviation from the 6 year to 15 year sentence recommended by the sentencing guidelines.
Minnesota police have a long history of killing unarmed Black people and I have been highlighting their corrupt police practice for years. In Apotheosis, Lord Serious Hakim Allah’s Habeas Corpus Appeal I predicted that if Blacks didn’t find new ways to fight back against this system the problem of mass incarceration and police brutality would persist:
“Before I get into what we must do to change course, I will first tell you what you can expect to happen in the next 12 months in the aftermath of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile “murders”:
1) There will be protest with people of all races;
2) There will be a host of political debates composed of multiracial panels;
3) There will be Black leadership who calls for calm;
4) There will be Black attorneys who swear up and down a Civil Rights violation has occurred, and they will sound so convincing you will have little doubt that these police officers will finally be held accountable;
5) The state or Feds will investigate;
6) A Grand Jury will be held, and most likely, no indictments will be brought against the police officers who both were practically caught on camera;
7) You probably won’t believe me until it actually happens;
When things do go exactly as I predicted this will prove:
1) Protesting and marching alone will never be enough to change the White power structure’s perception on why #BlackLivesMatter;
2) That, the debates and panels are shams. Those panels are not all inclusive and until they begin routinely inviting grassroots leaders and allow these community leaders to express their views, the conversations are purely intellectual. Negotiations cannot occur until they start inviting the real leadership to the table;
3) That, the White power structure has always appointed Black leadership for the sole purpose of maintaining their control over our people;
4) That, just like those leaders (above) these attorneys have an invested interest in maintaining the current system; if these attorneys really wanted to bring these atrocities to a stop they would aid us in bringing the U.S. before the International Courts for their human rights violations;
5) Both state and Federal law enforcement agencies know that a conviction for police misconduct is easier to get in the state, because state legislation gives prosecutors more variety in the amount of charges they can bring against the police. However, many states’ penal codes are ambiguous (unclear) on what extent deadly force is authorized, and unless the police department has a policy to clarify these ambiguities it becomes even more difficult to secure a Grand Jury indictment against an offending officer. But if the Feds do pick up the case the wording of the Civil Rights Act basically makes it unenforceable. It must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer had a “specific intent” to violate the deceased person’s constitutional rights;
6) …When this happens in the case of Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile, it will prove that the political analyst, Black political leaders, and the Black attorneys LIED to you when they told you that placing body cameras on White rogue police officers would deter them from continuing to shoot unarmed or cooperating Black people;
7) By the time we reach this point more innocent Black lives will be lost due to this same problem.” (pp. 20-22)
To purchase this book and learn more about Lord Serious visit his website www.Lordseriousspeaks.com.