The former Minnesota cop who shot and killed an unarmed Black man with what she claimed she originally thought was her Taser gun has been released from prison.
Kim Potter, 50, was released from the Minnesota Correction Facility in Shakopee on Monday morning at around 4:00 a.m., the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MDOC) said in a press release. The move marks the end of Potter’s sentence of serving two years in prison after being convicted in 2021 of manslaughter in the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Potter’s body camera was on as she and Officer Andrew Lucky attempted to arrest Wright over a misdemeanor warrant on April 11, 2021. Potter is heard warning Wright, who police say was resisting arrest, that she would use a stun gun on him in order to get him to comply.
“Taser! Taser! Taser!” she yelled before shooting Wright in the midsection with her weapon.
She immediately realized what had happened.
“Holy s—!” she yelled as Wright drove away. “I just shot him!”
Wright, who prosecutors say was shot in the heart, was able to drive a short distance down the street before his car crashed and came to a stop.
Potter was sentenced to less than two years behind bars for Wright’s death. According to the MDOC, Potter will be on supervised release until the end of the year.
“Minnesota is a determinate sentencing state, meaning that individuals serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison and the remaining third on supervised release,” MDOC spokesperson Andy Skoogman said in the press release, which also noted that Potter’s “term of imprisonment is set by law” and “there is no parole board and no time off for good behavior.”
Potter’s pre-dawn release was done in an “abundance of caution for the safety of Ms. Potter, DOC staff and the security of the correctional facility,” the MDOC said. In the days leading up to Potter’s release, MDOC intelligence analysts had apparently “obtained information that elevated concern for Ms. Potter’s safety, including threatening comments directed at her and the potential for violent protests outside the Shakopee correctional facility,” according to the press release.
Shakopee is located in southwest Minneapolis, the city where former police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd around a year before Potter killed Wright. Floyd’s death sparked national and international protests over the use of force by police against unarmed Black people.
“Based on the intelligence we gathered, we released Ms. Potter at a time we felt was safest for her and for everyone at the correctional facility,” Skoogman said.
Wright’s mother told CNN that she was “dreading” Potter’s release and that she struggles with the anguish over losing her son.
“Some say I should forgive to be at peace but how can I?” Katie Bryant told the news network. “I am so angry. She is going to be able to watch her kids have kids and be able to touch them. I am always scared I am going to forget my son’s voice. It gave us some sense of peace knowing she would not be able to hold her sons. She has two. I can’t hold my son.”
The disgraced officer is expected to serve the rest of her sentence in Wisconsin. Potter’s lawyer told CNN that she has no intention to return to Minnesota.
Conditions of Potter’s supervised release include submitting to drug and alcohol testing and unannounced visits from supervising agents. She is also not allowed to own or be around firearms. She is also prohibited from leaving Wisconsin without first getting permission from state officials.
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