For cop who shot Daunte Wright, will 'wrong gun' plea work?
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When a suburban Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Daunte Wright in April, her reaction on body-camera video seemed to instantly establish the key facts of the case: “I grabbed the wrong (expletive) gun,” Kim Potter said. “I’m going to go to prison.” But legal experts say a conviction for Potter, who says she meant to pull her Taser, isn’t as certain as it might seem — at least on the most serious charge she faces, first-degree manslaughter. Jury selection begins Tuesday.
Lawyers and a judge were expected to begin selecting the jury Tuesday that will decide the fate of former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 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. © Credit: CBSNews cbsn-fusion-kim-potter-former-minnesota-police-officer-to-stand-trial-daunte-wright-death-thumbnail-717362-640x360.jpg
As CBS Minnesota reports, 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.
Jurors at trial in Daunte Wright slaying go under microscope
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When attorneys begin sifting through potential jurors on Tuesday in the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who says she meant to use her Taser instead of her gun when she killed Daunte Wright, they’ll take a hard look at their attitudes toward policing, protests, and the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements. The prospective jurors in former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter’s manslaughter trial have already responded to questionnaires similar to those used this year in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial for the killing of George Floyd.
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. © Provided by CBS News Kim Potter
"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."
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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.
'I tried to scream his name': Girlfriend recalls moment Daunte Wright was shot by Kim Potter .
Alayna Albrecht-Payton, who was in the car Daunte Wright was driving when he was pulled over, testified Thursday in the trial of Kim Potter.Alayna Albrecht-Payton, her voice shaking, cried throughout her testimony as she told jurors about the moment Wright was shot and her frantic attempts to revive him after the shooting, which happened in April. After he was shot, Wright crashed the car he was driving into another car, then crashed into a fence.