MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jury selection wrapped up Friday in the manslaughter trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.
As of Friday morning, 14 jurors, including two alternates, have been seated in the trial over the shooting death of Daunte Wright. The alternates were identified as a white woman in her 70s and a white man in his 30s.READ MORE: Access Again An Issue At Federal Trial In George Floyd's Killing
Below are updates on the trial, beginning with the latest:
UPDATE (10:15 a.m.): The jury in the Kim Potter trial is set. Shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, juror No. 58 was seated to serve on the jury.
Defense spent very little time questioning No. 58. The juror was asked to clarify a questionnaire statement on respect paid to police officers. They say they feel police get a lot of respect.
Final juror seated is an Eden Prairie man whose daughter's godfather is a St. Paul police officer. Says he knows little about this case.
— David Schuman (@david_schuman) December 3, 2021
Judge Regina Chu says she expects opening statements to begin on Wednesday. Court breaks for the weekend.
UPDATE (9:30 a.m.): Juror No. 57 has been selected to serve on the jury, making them the 13th juror selected.
Judge Regina Chu tells the juror that opening statements are expected to begin Wednesday.
A new group of potential jurors arrive. One more juror is needed.
UPDATE (9:15 a.m.): Potential juror No. 57 has already served on two juries, including one case involving a police officer’s interaction with a Hmong man arrested on the way to a funeral. No. 57 said the man was carrying an object mistaken for a firearm and the incident resulted in injury to that man.
No. 57 has a father who was an attorney and her son-in-law is also an attorney.
In questioning from defense, No. 57 says they would feel burden of responsibility to serve on a jury, but would still serve if selected.
Defense passes and prosecution begins questioning.
Prosecution asks No. 57 about response “somewhat disagree” to question about distrusting the police.
“I generally trust the police,” they said. “But there are occasions where we can not trust the police.”
UPDATE (9 a.m.): Jury selection resumes with two more jurors needed. Potential juror No. 57 is up first.
The prosecutor’s list of called witnesses has also been released, and include three Minnesota BCA agents: Scott Mueller, Brent Peterson and Mike Phill. All three of those agents are part of the BCA’s “Force Investigations” unit which specifically investigates police use-of-force incidents.READ MORE: What Will The Judge Weigh In Sentencing Kim Potter?
Joe Tamburino, a criminal defense attorney who has no direct connection to this case, speculates that these agents will not be used by the state as expert witnesses on the issue of force.
In the Derek Chauvin trial, the prosecution called a couple agents from the same BCA unit and never asked for their expert opinion.
“I don’t think they will in the case either. It’s an interesting issue – the prosecutors call agents from the preeminent statewide Force Unit, but they never ask for their expert opinions,” Tamburino said.
Judge Regina Chu plans to hear opening statements on Wednesday, although that could happen earlier given the pace of jury selection.
So far, the demographic information on the jurors seated are as follows:
– Juror No. 2: white male, 50s
– Juror No. 6: white woman, 60s
– Juror No. 7: white male, 20s
– Juror No. 11: Asian woman, 40s
– Juror No. 17: white woman, 20s
– Juror No. 19: black woman, 30s
– Juror No. 21: white male, 40s
– Juror No. 22: white male, 60s
– Juror No. 26: Asian woman, 20s
– Juror No. 40: white male, 40s
– Juror No. 48: white woman, 40s
– Juror No. 55: white male, 50s
The defense has one more peremptory strike left. The state has no more strikes remaining.
One of the more notable events Thursday was the judge re-questioning juror No. 7 about concerns about his identity being released. Court cameras were not on during this questioning.
The judge said the man was “very upset” about his name and other identifying information being revealed. The juror said that, after googling his name, it is not as connected to the Potter trial as he originally feared. He says he believes he can serve on the panel fairly.
Attorney Earl Gray apologized to the juror for starting the issue, and said he hoped the juror will not hold his mistake against the defendant. No. 7 responded that he would not.
No. 7 will remain on the jury.
Potter, 49, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop in April. Potter said she thought she was using her Taser but instead fired her gun.
Defense attorney Paul Engh said Tuesday Potter will testify during her trial. Potter reiterated to the judge Wednesday that she plans to take the stand, though she could change her mind at any point.MORE NEWS: 'Today We Have Gotten Accountability': Daunte Wright's Family Thanks Community For Support