A judge concluded mitigating factors deserved a lighter sentence, after the former suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright said she mistook her handgun for her taser. She was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday, a penalty below state recommendations.

In December, Kim Potter was found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, on April 11. According to state legislation, she was only sentenced on the more serious crime.

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The state standards on that offence range from slightly more than six years to roughly eight and a half years in jail for someone with no criminal history, such as Potter, with a presumption sentence of just over seven years.

Prosecutors claimed the presumed term was appropriate, while defence attorneys requested a sentence that was less than the guidelines, such as probation only.

After hearing from Wright’s family and Potter, Judge Regina Chu imposed the punishment.

Also read: What was former Minneapolis cop Kim Potter charged with in Daunte Wright death?

Officers in Brooklyn Center pulled Wright over for expired licence tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror, and he was slain. The incident, which occurred while Derek Chauvin was on trial for murder in the death of George Floyd, provoked days of protests outside the Brooklyn Center police station, which were marked by tear gas and fights between protestors and police.

In December, Potter was found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 incident. Only the most serious charge of first-degree manslaughter, which carries a projected sentence of little over seven years in jail, will be brought against her.

Also read: Kim Potter made mistake but was still responsible, says juror

Given the loss of life and Potter’s willful carelessness, prosecutor Matt Frank believes the presumptive term is justified.

“His life mattered, and that life was taken,” Frank said. “His name is Daunte Wright. We have to say his name. He was not just a driver. He was a living human being. A life.”

Wright’s death, according to defence counsel Paul Engh, was “beyond tragic for everybody involved.” But, he added, “This was an unintentional crime. It was an accident. It was a mistake.”