AP

Jury nearly complete for Potter trial in Daunte Wright death

Dec 1, 2021, 9:53 PM | Updated: Dec 2, 2021, 6:56 pm

In this image taken from video, defense attorney Earl Gray questions a potential juror as Hennepin ...

In this image taken from video, defense attorney Earl Gray questions a potential juror as Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu presides over jury selection Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn., in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter in the April 11, 2021, death of Daunte Wright. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

(Court TV via AP, Pool)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The jury for the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer charged in Daunte Wright’s shooting death neared completion Thursday, with just two alternates needed ahead of opening statements next week.

Kim Potter, 49, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting of Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, following a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.

Potter, who is white, has said she meant to use her Taser on Wright after he pulled away from officers while they were trying to arrest him, but that she drew her handgun by mistake. Her body camera recorded the shooting.

Nine of the 12 jurors seated so far are white, with one juror identifying as Black and two as Asian. It’s evenly split between men and women. The group will be the 12 who deliberate in the case unless either of the two alternates is needed.

The three jurors seated Thursday include a longtime information technology worker who said he once aspired to be a police officer and participated in a police explorer program in high school, but he changed his mind because he was afraid he “would end up having to use my gun.”

He said he had a somewhat negative impression of Potter and that she should have had enough “muscle memory” to know which side of her body her Taser was on.

Also chosen was a mother of two who used to work as an IT project manager and has worked as an elections judge. She said on her questionnaire that Wright shouldn’t have died for something such as expired license plate tags — one of the reasons police gave for pulling him over. But said she could reach a verdict based on what she hears in court.

The last of the 12 is a Navy veteran and former Boy Scouts leader who said he competes in medieval steel combat in his spare time. He said he had been stunned as part of his Navy training decades ago, but that technology on Tasers has changed so much that he would have no problem setting aside his experience and reaching a verdict based on the evidence.

He said he saw a short video clip of the shooting only once and thought the situation was stressful because it looked like a lot of things were happening at once.

The defense on Thursday used one of its peremptory challenges to dismiss a first-year law student who has made comments on social media about cases in which police officers have been convicted. Such challenges cannot be made solely because of a person’s race, ethnicity or gender, and prosecutor Matthew Frank objected to the dismissal of the law student, an Asian woman.

Judge Regina Chu dismissed Frank’s objection, ruling there was no evidence that the defense strike was based on race or gender.

One of the jurors seated the first day was recalled for questioning Thursday after Chu said he had expressed concerns that his identity had been revealed when he was first questioned. The jury is anonymous by order of the judge. The man remained on the jury after he told Chu he was willing to continue serving.

Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday, though Chu said they could be moved up.

Attorneys and the judge have probed potential jurors for what they knew about Wright’s death and about their views of protests against police brutality that were frequent in Minneapolis even before George Floyd’s death.

Potter, who resigned two days after she shot and killed Wright, has told the court she will testify. Body-camera video recorded the shooting, with Potter heard saying, “Taser, Taser Taser” before she fired, followed by, “I grabbed the wrong (expletive) gun.”

Wright was shot in Brooklyn Center as former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was standing trial 10 miles (16 kilometers) away for killing Floyd. Wright’s death sparked several nights of intense protests in the suburb.

The most serious charge against Potter requires prosecutors to prove recklessness; the lesser only requires them to prove culpable negligence. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of just over seven years on the first-degree manslaughter count and four years on the second-degree one. Prosecutors have said they would seek a longer sentence.

___

Find the AP’s full coverage of the Daunte Wright case: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

6 hours ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

7 hours ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

1 day ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

3 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

3 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Jury nearly complete for Potter trial in Daunte Wright death