Ex-Cop Kim Potter Set to Be Freed From Prison 2 Years After Fatally Shooting Daunte Wright During Traffic Stop

Kim Potter
Kim Potter.Minnesota Dept. of Corrections

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter is scheduled to be released from prison on Monday, two years after she shot to death a 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop. Potter said she meant to grab her Taser, but instead drew her gun and fired.

Kim Potter, a former Minnesota cop who shot and killed a Black man during a traffic stop, is scheduled to be released from prison Monday after serving 16 months. Potter said she meant to pull her Taser, but grabbed her weapon instead and pulled the trigger.

Daunte Wright, 20, was shot to death on April 11, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, about 15 miles from where George Floyd was killed the year before, by police who kneeled on his neck until he died. Wright's shooting prompted days of demonstrations and conflicts with local law enforcement.

Wright was pulled over for having expired tags and an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota, authorities said. When officers told Wright he had an outstanding warrant and was going to be arrested, a scuffle ensued with police, according to body camera footage.

Potter, who is now 50, could be heard yelling "Taser, Taser, Taser," before pulling the trigger of her weapon one second later, firing a round into Wright's chest, authorities said. The 26-year police veteran was later seen collapsing on a curb, distraught, saying “I grabbed the wrong f***ing gun,” bodycam video showed.

She was charged and convicted of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter, and Judge Regina Chu sentenced her to two years in prison. Prosecutors had asked for seven years.

Wright's family strongly criticized the judge's sentence. 

"Officer Potter made a mistake that ended tragically. She never intended to hurt anyone," Chu said on the bench. She cried when handing down her sentence. "Please try to empathize with Ms. Potter's situation."

Katie Wright, the young man's mother, did not empathize with the woman who killed her son.

"Her incarceration was just a moment in time," Wright told the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week. "She cursed us with a forever life sentence."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the lead prosecutor in Potter's case, issued a statement this week, expressing sympathy for the Wright family.

"As Ms. Potter leaves prison, I wish her success in her reentry, as I do for all people reentering society from incarceration," Ellison said. "My deepest sympathies, however, remain with Daunte Wright, his family, and his young child who will grow up without a father."

Inside Edition Digital reached out to Potter's attorney for comment Friday morning, but had not heard back as of 4 p.m. EDT.

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