Kim Potter, ex-officer convicted of killing Daunte Wright, released from prison

(ABC News) – Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer convicted of killing Daunte Wright — a 20-year-old Black man shot during a traffic stop — was released from a Minnesota Correctional facility Monday.

Potter was released at 4:00 a.m. CT, Andy Skoogman, spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, said in a press release Monday.

She was released early this morning “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Ms. Potter, DOC staff and the security of the correctional facility,” according to Skoogman.

Potter was convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11, 2021, incident. She had pleaded not-guilty to both charges. She was sentenced last year to 24 months in prison and a fine of $1,000, far below what the prosecution had asked for.

Wright was pulled over for an expired registration tab and a hanging air freshener in the rearview mirror, according to police.

Potter then determined Wright had an outstanding warrant for a gross misdemeanor weapons charge and tried to detain him, according to former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned after the incident.

As officers were arresting Wright, he escaped the officers’ grip and was scuffling with them when he was shot by Potter, police said. Her attorneys said she meant to grab her stun gun but accidentally shot her firearm instead.

Wright — who was in the driver seat when he was shot — then drove away before crashing into another car.

A judge ordered Potter to serve 16 months in prison and eight months on supervised release. She already had a credit of 58 days served in jail while awaiting sentencing.

“I recognize there will be those who disagree with the sentence. That I granted a significant downward departure does not in any way diminish Daunte Wright’s life. His life mattered. And to those who disagree and feel a longer prison sentence is appropriate, as difficult as it may be, please try to empathize with Ms. Potter’s situation,” Judge Regina Chu said during the sentencing hearing.

Chu called the case “one of the saddest cases I have had in my 20 years on the bench.”

The maximum sentence for first-degree manslaughter is 15 years and a $30,000 fine and for second-degree manslaughter — 10 years and a $20,000 fine.