Former officer Kim Potter was released from prison Monday morning
A white former police officer convicted of killing black motorist Dante Wright in suburban Minneapolis in 2021 after mistaking it for a Taser and shooting black motorist Dante Wright was released from prison Monday. CBS Minnesota sure
Minnesota Department of Corrections Dr Kim Potter, the former officer, was released at 4 a.m. local time Monday after serving 16 months of his two-year sentence, according to the news station. He will serve the remainder of his sentence on supervised release.
“Based on the intelligence we gathered, we released Ms. Potter at a time that we believe is safe for her and everyone at the correctional facility,” DOC spokesman Andy Schugman said in a statement.
Schugman announced Potter’s scheduled release on Friday. He said at the time that the exact time of his departure from the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee on Monday would not be released for security reasons.
“Our criminal investigative analysts are working closely with law enforcement agencies to monitor conditions to ensure that Kim Potter, like all incarcerated individuals, is safe as soon as she leaves our facility,” Schugman said in a statement.
The shooting occurred in April 2021, leading to Derek Chauvin’s trial in Minneapolis on charges of murder in the killing of George Floyd. Wright’s death sparked days of protests.
Judge Regina Chu said during Potter’s sentencing that he must serve two-thirds of his sentence – 16 months – then the rest on probation.
Potter, now 50, looks much thinner in a new photo released by the Department of Corrections Her attorney, Earl Gray, said she had “no idea” why her appearance had changed.
“It shows that this is a difficult time to do,” Gray said. “I don’t know many mug shots that show someone in a good light.”
A message with civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Wright’s family lawyer, was not immediately returned.
Wright, a 20-year-old father, was killed on April 11, 2021, when officers in Brooklyn Center pulled him over for having a license tag and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. Officers discovered he had a warrant for possession of a weapon and was shot during a struggle as officers attempted to arrest him.
Civil rights advocates say laws against objects hanging from rearview mirrors have been used as an excuse to stop black motorists.
Potter can be heard yelling “Taser” several times just before firing his pistol as Wright tries to walk away from the traffic stop.
The state attorney general’s office sought a sentence just over the seven years recommended by state guidelines. Wright’s family and Crump denounced the two-year sentence as too lenient and accused the judge of giving more consideration to the white officer than to the black victim.
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said after the sentencing that Potter “killed my son,” adding: “Today the justice system killed him again.”
Chu said at the time that the case was unlike other high-profile murders, including the death of George Floyd that resulted in Chauvin’s 22 1/2-year sentence. “This is a cop who made a tragic mistake,” he said.
Defense attorneys argued at the sentencing hearing that Potter deserved leniency because Wright was trying to drive away and that Potter had a right to self-defense.
Potter, a 26-year police veteran, apologized to Wright’s family during the sentencing and spoke directly to her mother: “Katie, I understand a mother’s love. I’m sorry I broke your heart… My heart is broken and everyone’s. Crashed for you.”