State Watch

Ex-officer who killed Daunte Wright released from prison

Kimberly Potter, the former Minnesota police officer who was sentenced to a two-year prison term for the killing of Daunte Wright, was released from prison on Monday after spending 16 months behind bars.

Potter shot Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a 2021 traffic stop near Minneapolis, apparently mistaking her gun for a taser and killing the unarmed Wright. She was convicted of two counts of manslaughter.

Potter was released from Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee at 4 a.m. Monday, with officials noting the early hour was due to safety concerns related to her release. A spokesperson said the Department of Corrections obtained information that elevated the concerns for Potter’s safety.

“Based on the intelligence we gathered, we released Ms. Potter at a time we felt was safest for her and for everyone at the correctional facility,” the spokesperson said.

The release after 16 months in prison is because under state law, prisoners serve two-thirds of their term in prison and then the remaining third under supervised release. The state does not offer reduced sentences for good behavior.

Potter’s supervised release ends in late December. She must maintain contact with a supervising agent, is subject to unannounced searches and must not have access to any firearm.

Potter has no plans to return to the state and will live in Wisconsin, her lawyer, Earl Gray, told CNN.

Wright’s death sparked protests in Minnesota and across the U.S. In Brooklyn Center, Minn., where the shooting happened, demonstrators clashed with law enforcement, with officers throwing flash-bang grenades and tear gas to disperse crowds.

The incident occurred nearly a year after the killing of George Floyd in the state, which prompted national outcry and calls for police reform.

Tags Black Lives Matter Daunte Wright

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