The former cop who shot dead Duante Wright after mistaking her gun for a Taser has been released from prison after 16 months in jail.
Kim Potter, 50, was set free from Shakopee Minnesota Correctional Facility in the early hours of Monday to start eight months on probation.
It comes three years after she accidentally shot and killed 20-year-old black man Daunte when she mistook her Taser for her gun during a traffic stop on April 11, 2020.
She was convicted of first and second degree manslaughter. The victim’s relatives blasted the decision to release her, saying she has left the family ‘cursed forever’.
Meanwhile the former cop was seen looking thin and frail in a recently-released mugshot, with grey hair in stark contrast to her smiling picture from 2021.
Kim Potter was seen in a recent mug shot looking frail and rail thin more than a year after she was sobbing at her sentencing trial for the April 11, 2020 death of Daunte Wright
Potter shot and killed Wright (pictured) when she mistook her taser for her gun. At the time of the shooting, Potter and other cops had pulled Wright over for driving with expired license tags
Potter was released at 4am ‘out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Ms. Potter, DOC staff and the security of the correctional facility’, the prison said.
The 26-year veteran claimed she accidentally shot Wright when she reached for her gun instead of her Taser during a traffic stop over his expired plates in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Potter, who was convicted of first and second-degree manslaughter in February 2022, received a sentence that was far below the guidelines of around seven years, and the fifteen-year maximum the state of Minnesota allows for first-degree manslaughter.
Wright’s family slammed the sentence at the time, which was handed down by Judge Regina Chu, who cried when she announced Potter’s punishment last February.
Katie said Friday the only comfort she had was knowing Potter could never be an officer again.
‘Even though we didn’t get the accountability that we really wanted, she will never be able to mistake a Taser and a gun ever again for the rest of her life,’ she said.
Potter is shown on surveillance cameras sobbing as she realized what she has done
Lead prosecutor Keith Ellison had sought a seven-year term and had until May 2022 to appeal Chu’s sentence. But he accepted the decision and urged others to.
‘As Ms. Potter leaves prison, I wish her success in her reentry, as I do for all people reentering society from incarceration,’ Ellison said in a statement.
‘My deepest sympathies, however, remain with Daunte Wright, his family, and his young child who will grow up without a father.’
At the time of the shooting, Potter and other cops had pulled Daunte over for driving with expired license tags, while there was a warrant out for his arrest.
Wright tried to drive away, prompting Potter to reach for her taser. In bodycam footage Potter can be heard repeatedly shouting, ‘I’ll tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!’
Moments later she fired a round and immediately said: ‘I grabbed the wrong f****** gun.’ Collapsing to the curb in despair she cried: ‘I shot him. Oh my God.’
At Potter’s sentencing, Katie told her she would ‘never forgive’ her and asked Judge Regina Chu not to show leniency
Chu took pity on the former officer during her sentencing, noting her guilt and referring to the shooting as an accident.
Potter’s clean background also resulted in her shortened time in jail. At her sentencing, Potter wept as she apologized to Daunte’s family.
Looking toward them in the courtroom she said: ‘To the family of Daunte Wright. I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father brother uncle, and the rest of your family.
‘To your mom Katie, I understand a mother’s love and I am sorry I broke your heart. My heart is broken for all of you.’
But Katie looked directly at Potter as she told her she would ‘never forgive’ her and asked Judge Regina Chu not to show leniency.
‘She left our world with so much darkness and heartache.
‘The best way I can explain is that I feel a sinking feeling every day that a mother gets when she realizes her kid is missing in a grocery store and you can’t see him, feel him, know if he’s safe. Daunte was only 20. He had so much of his life ahead of him.
‘She took our baby boy with a single gunshot through the heart and she shattered mine. She took his future.’
She added: ‘For that, I will never be able to forgive you. I will never be able to forgive you for what you have stolen from us.’
Potter was a force veteran of 26 years and Chu took pity on her due to her contrition and clean record