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January 27, 2022
Hennepin County District Court has begun the jury selection for the trial of Kimberly Potter, an ex-cop who shot Daunte Wright.
On April 11, Potter, 49, was training a rookie officer near Minneapolis. They were performing a routine traffic check, in which Wright was supposed to stop. Instead, he tried to speed off because there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Potter, in an attempt to stop him, said she would use her taser on him if he did not stop.
Her bodycam footage shows her yelling, “Taser taser taser!” and immediately after, swearing as she realized she had pulled out and fired her gun, not her taser. Wright was shot in the chest and crashed his car moments later. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Also in the bodycam footage, Potter can be heard saying, “I’m going to prison.” Her lawyers, however, are calling the incident a “mistake”. “An accident is not a crime,” Paul Engh, one of her attorneys, said. Her legal team has said that they will be framing the situation as Wright being at fault, as he did not comply with authorities.
The prosecution sees the situation very differently. They claim she had no reason to pull her taser, much less her gun, claiming that if she had let him drive off, he could have been detained at a later time.
The potential jurors were asked several questions to determine their eligibility. Officials wanted to know if potential jurors were familiar with the case and if they knew anyone who participated in the protests that followed the incident or in any of the other Twin Cities protests in the past few years.
They were also asked if they saw the demonstrations as positive or negative for the community and if they believed in reforming or defunding the police. The told “sole purpose and our obligation is to ensure that the jurors who decide this case are neutral, open-minded and fair,” Judge Regina Chu told the jury candidates. “Your verdict must be based on the evidence you hear during the trial.”
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POST-GAZETTE.COM