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Kim Potter, former Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, to be released from prison

The 26-year police veteran has served 16 months in prison. Slated to be released Monday, she'll serve another eight months on supervised release.
Former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter
Former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter testifies at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Dec. 17, 2021.Court TV via AP file

Kim Potter, the former Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Black motorist Daunte Wright in 2021, will be freed from prison Monday, the state department of corrections said. 

The 50-year-old was sentenced to two years in jail in February 2022, convicted of first and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11, 2021 slaying of Wright, 20, in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. 

Potter, a 26-year police veteran with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, claimed she mistakenly drew her handgun instead of her Taser in the shooting that sparked national uproar and protests. 

Daunte Wright who was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop
Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop.Courtesy Wright Family

She has been in jail since Dec. 23, 2021 and has served 16 months at the Shakopee Minnesota Correctional Facility. After her release, she’ll serve another eight months on supervised release.

Attorneys for Potter did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections said Potter will be monitored during the release for her protection.

"We will quickly adjust and alter our release procedures if we obtain information that indicates there is a credible threat to Kim Potter’s safety or the safety of others," the department said.

In the 2021 shooting, police pulled Wright over because of expired license plate tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror, officials have said. Police said they discovered an outstanding warrant and tried to arrest him and that Wright tried to flee before he was shot. 

Potter delivered a tearful testimony at trial, recounting the moment she realized what she had done.

"We were trying to keep him from driving away. It just, it just went chaotic. ... And then, I remember yelling, ‘Taser. Taser. Taser.’ And nothing happened. And then, he told me, I shot him,” she said.

The fatal shooting triggered a new wave of outrage over police brutality and institutional racism as Wright's death came just a year after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Wright was gunned down just about 10 miles north of the courthouse where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in Floyd's death.

Potter’s sentence was significantly less than the 86 months prosecutors had pushed for — prompting Wright's mother, Katie Wright, to say after the sentencing, “the justice system murdered him all over again.” 

Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu said at the time that Potter deserved less because she was trying to use her Taser and not her gun. 

“This is one of the saddest cases that I’ve had in my 20 years on the bench,” Chu said. 

Potter was ordered to serve two-thirds of her sentence in custody and one-third on supervised release, with credit for 58 days already served.