Potter’s time on parole will end in December.
“Our criminal investigative analysts are working closely with law enforcement to monitor the situation to ensure Kim Potter, like all incarcerated persons, is safe as she leaves our facility,” said Andy Skoogman, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
He added in a statement that he was not disclosing the time of Potter’s release from Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee for security reasons and that they would adjust her release time if there is a “credible threat.”
With Potter about to be released, Katie Wright, Daunte Wright’s mother, said the only sense of peace the family has is knowing Potter will not be a police officer again.
“We’re disappointed, frustrated and angry,” Katie Wright told The Washington Post. “The fact that she’s able to hold her kids and hear their voices and be able to spend the rest of her life with them, and she took the rest of our life away from us, is really disappointing from our justice system.”
Earl Gray, Potter’s attorney, said he had no comment when reached by phone Saturday afternoon.
Potter, who is White, shot Wright during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis in April 2021 in an area where tensions were already high during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Potter claimed that she mistook her gun for a Taser when she fired at Wright to try to stop him from driving away.
Video of the shooting prompted outrage when it was released soon after the incident, and protesters who had gathered in Brooklyn Center were met with an aggressive, heavily criticized response from law enforcement.
“I’ll Tase you!” Potter said in body-camera footage from the April 11 traffic stop. “Taser! Taser! Taser!”
“I grabbed the wrong gun,” Potter later says, using an expletive. “I killed a boy.”
Police had initially pulled over Wright for having expired tags and an air freshener dangling in his rearview mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. They discovered an outstanding arrest warrant for a misdemeanor weapons possession charge when they ran Wright’s identification and moved to arrest him. Wright tried to get away from an officer trying to handcuff him before he was shot by Potter.
In the footage of the incident, Wright’s car is seen pulling away after he was shot, only to crash moments later.
Two days later, Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned.
A mostly White jury convicted Potter of first- and second-degree manslaughter, capping a year of racially charged trials in the national spotlight, including the conviction of three men in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis.
The recommended sentencing for Potter’s conviction had been between over six years and roughly 8½ years. Hennepin County Judge Regina M. Chu sentenced Potter to two years, which Wright’s family said at the time felt like a betrayal.
“Kim Potter murdered my son. He died April 11,” Katie Wright said on the day of Potter’s sentencing. “Today, the justice system murdered him all over again.”
Minnesota guidelines allow those with felony sentences in the state to be eligible for release after serving two-thirds of their mandatory sentence. At the sentencing, Chu said the case was one of the saddest “I’ve had in my 20 years on the bench.”
The judge acknowledged her decision would be a disappointment to some and insisted that it was not meant to diminish what happened to Wright, whose family had pleaded for Chu to give Potter the highest penalty possible.
“It was one of the first times I saw the sitting judge showing more sympathy for the perpetrator than the victim,” said Johnathon McClellan, an attorney who leads the Minnesota Justice Coalition and is close to the Wright family, on Saturday. “The family has to go through living their life without their son, all because Kim Potter made a choice that day. And that choice was to take the life of Daunte Wright.”
Last June, the Minneapolis suburb agreed to pay $3.5 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the Wright family. The Wrights said they hoped the suit will change the way police officers are taught to handle traffic stops.
Katie Wright said she feels Potter is only getting released Monday, rather than years from now, because she was a police officer. On the cusp of Potter’s release, Katie Wright said she is trying to make sure people don’t forget her son.
“He was the center of our life,” she said. “He was funny, he was caring, he was thoughtful and had a smile that would brighten up the world. I’m going to make sure he continues to shine, even in death.”
Andrea Salcedo and Kim Bellware contributed to this report.