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'Every single emotion': Wright family, others react to guilty verdict in Kim Potter trial

The Wright family, the prosecution team and others react to the guilty verdict in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.

MINNEAPOLIS — The family of Daunte Wright stood beside Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and other members of the prosecution Thursday afternoon to give their reaction to the guilty verdict that came down after several days of deliberation in the trial of Kim Potter.

A jury found former Brooklyn Center police officer Potter guilty of both first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.

Ellison spoke first, acknowledging the Wright family's loss.

"I'm mindful today that there will be an empty chair at the Wright family holidays, and I once again, extend my deepest condolences to you," he said.

He went on to say that the verdict holds a "degree of accountability" for Daunte's death, but conceded that "accountability is not justice."

"Justice is beyond the reach that we have in this life for Daunte," he said, adding, "but accountability is an important step, a critical, necessary step, on the road to justice for us all."

He then thanked the jury, witnesses who came forward in the case to testify and his prosecution team, saying they "did not shy away" from the challenge of trying this particular case.

Ellison said his thoughts are also with Potter, saying, "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."

Katie Bryant, Daunte's mother, then spoke, telling the crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center that the moment the verdict was read was emotional.

"The moment that we heard 'guilty on manslaughter one,' emotions —  every single emotion that you could imagine running though your body at that moment," she said.

She then thanked the prosecution and the community for their support in their "long fight for accountability."

Bryant declined to comment when asked about Potter taking the stand, but Daunte's father, Arbuey Wright, told the crowd he wanted to "thank her" for testifying.

Ellison spoke again, saying it was a "good sign" that Potter was remorseful.

"What decent person wouldn’t be broken-hearted and sad if they were involved in something like this?," Ellison said. "I wish nothing but the best for her and her family, but the truth is, she’ll be able to correspond with them and visit with them, and no matter what happens, the Wrights won’t be able to talk to Daunte." 

Governor Tim Walz also weighed in on Potter's verdict, saying in part, "Minnesota has work to do to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again, and I am committed to continuing that work."

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan also released a statement, saying, "We have a long path filled with hard conversations in front of us," and that her "heart is with Daunte Wright's loved ones." 

Just after 3 p.m., Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot began a press conference with several community activists, saying that today's verdict is an "important moment," but everyone must now "fully commit" to creating a community where everyone is "safe from police violence." 

He added the city is moving forward in implementing the Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock Heisler Community Safety and Violence Prevention resolution that the city passed in May. 

"It is the best way to honor, and to begin delivering justice, for Daunte Wright and his family," Elliot said.

Civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy-Armstrong said she was "grateful" for the decision of the jury, "who at the end of the day, saw Daunte's humanity."

"It's our hope that today's decision will help to save lives," she said.

More on the death of Daunte Wright:

Watch the latest coverage on the death of Daunte Wright and the trial of Kim Potter in our YouTube playlist:

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