UPDATE (11:55 a.m.): A second juror has been seated in the Kim Potter trial.
The juror indicated they had a negative impression of both Potter and Daunte Wright, but said they could set aside their impressions.
The juror, a teacher, said a student called her “strict but fair.”
UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): A defense attorney for Kim Potter says the former Brooklyn Center police officer will testify in her manslaughter trial.
While questioning a prospective juror, defense attorney Paul Engh said Potter will take the stand.
UPDATE (10:50 a.m.): Potential juror No. 5 has been excused and will not serve on the jury.
The juror said they would do their “civic duty” and do their best to be impartial. They expressed frustration at crime in the Twin Cities, called Black Lives Matter a “Marxist, communist” organization and said if Daunte Wright had listened to directions during the traffic stop, “he would still be with us.”
UPDATE (10:15 a.m.): Prospective juror No. 4 has been excused and will not serve on the jury.
The juror indicated on their questionnaire they had a “very negative” impression of Kim Potter and “neutral” impression of Daunte Wright.
UPDATE (9:58 a.m.): Potential juror No. 2, the first prospective juror questioned, will serve on the jury in Kim Potter’s trial.
The juror was questioned by Judge Regina Chu, defense attorney Earl Gray and prosecutor Matthew Frank.
UPDATE (9:40 a.m.): Judge Regina Chu has begun questioning potential jurors individually, beginning with prospective juror No. 2.
UPDATE (9:10 a.m.): Judge Regina Chu has brought in the first panel of prospective jurors in the trial for Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright.
Twelve jurors and two alternates will be selected.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Tuesday morning, lawyers and a judge will begin selecting the jury that will decide the fate of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.
Potter, who is white, shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was Black, during a traffic stop in April. She is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter.
The police chief at the time said Potter meant to use her Taser, but grabbed her gun. Both Potter and Chief Tim Gannon resigned after Wright’s killing, and the Brooklyn Center City Council fired the city manager.
Criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case, said the prosecution will have to prove different things for each manslaughter charge.
“In both cases, we’re dealing with recklessness or negligence. And for the first-degree manslaughter, that means that there’s an underlying offense. In this case, they’re alleging misdemeanor mishandling of a firearm,” he said. “For the second-degree, they’re just stating that it is reckless or extreme negligence. So for the second one, they would have to show that Ms. Potter was extremely negligent when she did the act. For the first-degree, they would have to show not only was she negligent, but also, she did an underlying crime, meaning the misdemeanor mishandling of a weapon.”
Tamburino said jury selection in a high-profile case such as this one presents its own challenges.
“It’s going to be difficult,” he said, “because many people have seen this video, many people know the situation, so the issue will become this: regardless as to whether or not someone has seen the videos, read about the case, heard about the case, can they put that all aside and try to be a fair and impartial juror? That’s the person that they want to find.”
Wright’s killing, which happened during the trial for Derek Chauvin, who was eventually convicted of murdering George Floyd, ignited several nights of protests in the city, mostly centered around the police station. Protests spilled into other parts of the Twin Cities as well.
The city sent out a release ahead of jury selection, saying it “has been working with residents, community organizations, and all department leaders in preparing for the trial and peaceful protesting.”
The city said it has implemented measures such as “identifying space for peaceful protesting,” “utilizing space and distance to de-escalate tension in the protest area” and adding patrols from outside law enforcement agencies.
On Monday night, the city council failed to pass a measure that would have given the city manager the power to impose curfews. That power will remain with Mayor Mike Elliott.
The city council also debated re-allocating more than $1 million from the police department toward policing reforms.
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Source: CBS Minnesota