On April 11, 2021, former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter fatally shot unarmed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. Community outrage at Wright’s killing was swift and widespread despite the massive National Guard and police build-up for the Derek Chauvin trial happening just a few miles away from where Wright was killed.
Potter’s trial for manslaughter charges began on November 30. Opening statements began on December 8 and the jury found Potter guilty of both first and second-degree manslaughter on December 23. Potter was sentenced to 24 months in prison on February 18.
After serving 16 months in Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee, Potter was released from prison. Potter now resides in Wisconsin and is on parole until December 21, 2023.
The Kim Potter Trial
The trial proceedings were preside over by Judge Regina Chu
Defense team: Earl Gray and Paul Engh – Prosecuting team: MN Attorney Generals Office
Kim Potter was convicted of first-degree manslaughter predicated on alleged reckless use/handling of a firearm [Max Sentence: 15 years and/or $30K fine] and second-degree manslaughter (culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk) [Max Sentence: 10 years and/or $20,000 fine] on December 23, 2021.
On February 18, 2022, Kim Potter was given a downward departure by Judge Chu and sentenced to 24 months in prison with 58 days time served.
Potter was released from prison on April 24, 2023, and will be on supervised release until December 21, 2023, per the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Case Files: 27-CR-21-7460: State vs. Kimberly Potter
Trial Coverage Below
During the trial and after, this page is subject to updates.
February 18, 2022: Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison [Twitter Thread] [Article]
On February 18, former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was sentenced to 24 months in prison (16 months with good time) for the April 11, 2021 fatal shooting of unarmed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. Judge Chu cried after sentencing Potter, watch the hearing below.
“It is the sentence and judgement of this court that you shall be committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections for a period of 24 months, you shall serve 2/3 of that time or 16 months in prison, and 1/3 on supervised release, assuming no disciplinary offenses or conditional release violations.”Judge Regina Chu’s sentencing of Kimberly Potter
A brief press conference was held after the sentencing and Daunte’s parents both said they’re disappointed in the outcome.
Day 16: Jury Deliberation and Guilty Verdict Readout
Former police officer Kim Potter was found guilty on both counts of first and second degree manslaughter for fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11, 2021. Potter was taken into custody and sentencing has been set for February 18, 2022.
Merely two hours later, Potter was booked into Minnesota Correctional Facility – Shakopee, an all-women prison. Her mugshots show her smiling.
After nearly 28 hours of deliberation, the jury came to consensus on the guilty verdicts. On December 21 at 10:30 a.m. the jury concluded Potter guilty of second degree manslaughter and on December 23 at 11:40 a.m. the jury decided Potter guilty of first degree manslaughter.
After the verdict were read, a press conference was held by the prosecuting attorneys from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office along with the parents of Daunte Wright, Katie and Aubrey.
On December 23, jurors began deliberating at 8:40 a.m. and around noon an announcement from the courts was sent out saying an “outcome” has been reached in the trial. Deliberations ended after a total of 28 hours and five minutes.
Court was in session around 1:30 p.m. to read the announcement. The official statement from the court read “A trial outcome has been reached and will be read on the record today between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. CST.”
After the guilty verdict was read and each juror specified that they each felt Potter guilty, the defense called for Potter to not be remanded and to be allowed to go home for the holidays and come back for sentencing. Judge Chu denied Potter to be free and she was handcuffed and brought into custody.
Day 15: Jury Deliberation
Jurors deliberated throughout the full day on December 22 without making a decision. They started deliberations at 8:25 a.m. as opposed to 9 a.m. and were released from deliberations at 6:00 p.m. Jurors have now deliberated for 24 hours.
The courts sent an update asking for media pool reporter submissions for the week of December 27 “in the event that deliberations continue into that week.“
Day 14: Jury Deliberation
No verdict has been reached after the second day of deliberation in the Kim Potter trial. However, court was briefly in session around 4 p.m. on December 21 for Judge Chu to answer two questions from the jury who had deliberated over 13 hours at that point. The two questions prompted a response from the judge and paused deliberations:
- If the jury cannot reach consensus, what is the guidance around how long and what steps should be taken?
- Can the zip ties be removed from Exhibit 199, Potter’s gun, so that it can be held out of the evidence box?
Answering the first question, Judge Chu re-read the jury instruction previously stated to the jury:
“You should discuss the case with one another and deliberate with a view toward reaching agreement. If you can do so without violating your individual judgment, you should decide the case for yourself, but only after you have discuss the case with your fellow jurors and have carefully considered their views. You should not hesitate to reexamine your views and change your opinion if you become convinced they are erroneous. But you should not surrender your honest opinion, simply because other jurors disagree, or merely to reach a verdict.“
Judge Chu said “yes” to question number two and ordered the jury to knock on the door for the deputy and ask him to remove the zip ties when they got back to the deliberation room:
“The answer is yes. When when you go back into the deliberation room, you should knock on the door and hand the deputy the the gun in the box. The deputy will then remove the zip ties and he will knock on the door and give the gun to after you’re done with whatever you want to do with the gun. You are to knock on the door again and hand the gun to the deputy. And according to our protocol, it will have to be zip tied in the box again. To let you know, the gun is not loaded. It’s fully secured. But we do have to keep it in the zip tie after you’re done with it. Now the questions were submitted at four o’clock pm on 12-21 and signed by the jury fore person.“
Potter is charged with first and second degree manslaughter for killing Daunte Wright.
The jury is sequestered to a nearby hotel and deliberates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. As of Tuesday night they’ve deliberated a bit over 14 hours. They must come to a unanimous decision or risk a hung jury.
Day 13: Closing Arguments [Twitter Thread]
Closing arguments from each legal team were heard along with a rebuttal from the state. The jury was then given instructions as to how to determine guilt for the two manslaughter charges Kim Potter faces. The jury started deliberating at 12:45 p.m. on Monday, December 20. Read the jury instructions here.
Watch Day 13 live (4hr 55min):
Day 12: Testimony
Kim Potter took the stand on Friday, December 17 for nearly two hours.
Watch Kim Potter’s full testimony (1hr 53min):
Watch Day 12 Morning live (4hr 09min):
Watch Day 12 Afternoon live (1hr 40min):
Day 11: Testimony
The state rested its case on Thursday morning. The defense then brought forth their expert witness, Stephen Ijames, to testify first.
Watch Day 11 Morning live (4hr 18min):
The defense then brought several character witnesses, including former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, Brooklyn Park Police Officer Colleen Fricke, Potter’s neighbor Thomas Hall, and police officer Samuel Smith II.
Watch Day 11 Afternoon live (2hr 01min):
Day 10: Testimony
The state concluded questioning of their last three witnesses to sit on the stand, Brooklyn Center Sgt. Mike Peterson, expert witness Professor Seth Stoughton, and Daunte’s father, Aubrey Wright. Wednesday mornings proceedings started with Sgt. Peterson continuing his testimony. Peterson had previously testified about training Kim Potter Peterson was cross examined by defense attorney Paul Engh. Peterson testified that deadly force could be used to make an arrest or prevent someone from fleeing.
The state brought forth their expert witness Professor Seth Stoughton to speak about his findings after investigating the death of Daunte Wright.
Watch Day 10 Morning live (4hr 20min):
Watch Day 10 Afternoon live (3hr 44min):
Day 9: Testimony [Twitter Thread]
Two motions brought by the state seeking to exclude testimony of one of their witnesses, Mychal Johnson, failed. Judge Chu ruled against Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s motion to admit evidence of bias and motion to preclude improper lay opinion testimony by Johnson, saying his testimony will be allowed. Ellison’s motions said that the jury couldn’t properly do their job without being made aware of a bias and sought to limit testimony of law enforcement witnesses.
The ‘blakely issue’ was also discussed and officially put into record that Judge Chu would be the end decider on any aggravated sentencing if Potter is convicted. This was first discussed on the court feeds during day six.
Testimony on Tuesday, December 14 featured only two witnesses, both police officers from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Commander Garett Flesland and Sgt. Mike Peterson.
Although state’s witnesses, Flesland and day 7 witness Mychal Johnson, both testified during defense questioning that Potter was justified in her use of force against Daunte Wright even if she meant to use her taser. Fleslund, as many other witnesses, testified that he knows Potter personally and is her “friend.” Fleslund said Potter’s “a good cop.” Judge Chu overruled a majority of the state’s objections during Fleslund’s cross-examination by the defense.
Fleslund was shown several images pulled from screenshots of videos that feature Potter wearing her Taser on her left side in the ‘reaction hand draw position.’ He testified about the process of reviewing multiple body cam videos from BCPD records. He said the body camera is docked in station and it starts charging as well as automatically stores videos onto a city network that officer can access with different levels. Fleslund has full access was able to process the old videos which featured Potter.
Watch Day 9 Morning live (4hr 27min):
Sgt. Mike Peterson spoke at length about training Kim Potter while at the Brooklyn Center Police Department. The state went through a litany of training documents and sign-in sheets for Taser training workshops Potter attended. Peterson gave a demonstration on how to perform a spark/function test on a Taser and clarified that the policy to perform a function test on the Taser is written as one “should” perform a test, not that one has to run a test.
BCPD Sgt. Mike Peterson took the stand during the #KimPotterTrial on Tuesday afternoon.
He spoke at length about training Potter & demonstrated how to perform a Taser spark/function test.
Watch the full testimony here: https://t.co/sFHfzpZkVt
He’s back for cross Wednesday a.m. pic.twitter.com/QLgMDjuT70
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 15, 2021
Watch Day 9 Afternoon live (2hr 30min):
Day 8: Testimony [Twitter Thread]
The fourth day of testimony featured six witnesses: medical examiner Dr. Lorren Jackson, forensic scientists in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Melissa Loren, Eric Koeppen, and Travis Melland, and BCA agents Brent Petersen, Michelle Frascone, and Sam McGinnis.
Medical examiner, Dr. Lorren Jackson, was the first witness brought forth on December 13. He reviewed the scene of Daunte Wright’s killing by Kim Potter and autopsy materials. Due to a previous ruling by Judge Chu, the autopsy photos were not displayed to the livestream, although computer-generated graphics showing the nature of the fatal injury were displayed.
Dr. Jackson said the bullet shot by Potter was still inside Wright’s body at the time of the autopsy. It was stuck under his skin on the back left side of his chest. He testified that he found a gap in the tissue covering the right ventricle.
Melissa Loren, a forensic scientist at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and special agent Brent Petersen both testified next. Loren is a team leader in the BCA and she gave an explanation of what evidence her and her team found and how she processed the evidence.
Exhibits of photos from the car, including a bloody seat and the spent cartridge that killed Wright along with service weapons of Potter and former BCPD officer Mychal Johnson were admitted to evidence. During cross examination the defense continued their questioning surrounding the small amounts of cannabis found in the vehicle.
Evidence pictures of the front seat where Daunte Wright was shot. There’s blood, papers, the air freshener tree, and the discharged casing on the seat. pic.twitter.com/nu6uNPi6KJ
— Unicorn Riot – Kim Potter Trial Updates (@UnicornRiotLive) December 13, 2021
Watch Day 8 Morning live (3hr 57min):
BCA Special Agent Brent Petersen testified about appearing on the scene, collecting evidence and interviewing Ms. Blansky, a neighbor to the crash site who had testified in day 6. Petersen confirmed the bullet Potter shot Wright with was a hollow point, a bullet that’s designed to mushroom in the body and move slower, causing extensive damage.
The state showed two body cam videos (Potter and Johnson) synched up along with officer Luckey’s dashcam recording and Peterson pointed out that Potter opened part of the holster to make drawing her gun easier.
BCA Special Agent Brent Peterson testified earlier today that in the squad car footage from April 11, 2021, he noticed Kim Potter unsnapping the right side of her duty belt where her firearm was. https://t.co/inSJOpkj1e
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 13, 2021
Petersen testified that officer Luckey and Johnson were out of the vehicle when Potter shot Wright, impeaching Johnson’s previous testimony that he was in the car and in danger of being injured before Potter used her weapon.
BCA Special Agent Michelle Frascone, another officer who’s friends with Kim Potter and her husband outside of work, testified that she eventually arrived at the scene around 4 p.m. Frascone said she took Sgt. Johnson’s unloaded gun from Potter (Johnson had exchanged guns with Potter after she killed Wright and eventually took the bullets out when Potter threatened suicide) and then she asked to not be directly involved with Potter during the investigation as she wanted to avoid a conflict of interest.
Frascone then met with Sgt. Johnson and secured Potter’s loaded gun from him and turn it into BCA Special Agent Sam McGinnis.
Potter’s gun on Sgt. Jonhson’s holster. pic.twitter.com/mZyzc2IEaq
— Unicorn Riot – Kim Potter Trial Updates (@UnicornRiotLive) December 13, 2021
Agent McGinnis was next on the stand. He testified about photographing and collecting Potter’s equipment and said he was with Potter for about two hours after she killed Wright. He brought Potter and Johnson’s guns and a blood kit to Forensic Scientist Loren.
McGinnis said they ran an audit on Potter’s taser and received a read out of when Potter last used it. Her last spark test was on April 9, two days before she killed Wright. During cross-examination, McGinnis confirmed that Potter had volunteered to get her blood drawn and no drugs/alcohol were found in her system. Defense attorney Gray asked McGinnis if he had ever inquired with the taser manufacturer why it is shaped in the form of a gun. McGinnis said no, he hasn’t asked them and doesn’t know.
BCA forensic scientists Eric Koeppen and Travis Melland also took the stand to speak about examining evidence.
Watch Day 8 Afternoon live (2hr 32min):
Day 7: Testimony
Former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Mychal Johnson, who now works for Goodhue County Sherriff’s Department, took the stand on Friday. Johnson was one of the first responders to the scene where Daunte Wright was pulled over. He was there to assist the Officer Luckey while Luckey was in training. While Officer Luckey and Kim Potter walked to the left side of the car Daunte and Alayna Albrecht-Payton were in, Johnson walked to the right side. His body camera footage was shown to the court along with his testimony.
As the officers were attempting to arrest Daunte, Johnson acted as a “cover officer.” Johnson opened the passenger door and reached over Albrecht-Payton attempting to turn the car off, grab the shift knob to keep car in park, and to also grab Daunte’s wrist. As Johnson said during cross-examination that Potter had a right to use deadly force against Daunte because of Daunte’s attempts to flee the arrest.
During Johnson’s testimony it was stated on record that he was holding the shift knob in park and had to let go when Potter yelled “Taser.” He said the car hadn’t moved until after Potter shot Wright. Notably, Johnson exchanged his gun with Potter a few minutes after she shot Wright. Body camera video later showed he took his gun back from her as other officers were afraid she would maybe hurt herself. As Potter was being tended to in the front seat of a police cruiser, Johnson asked for his gun back from Potter and turned away from her to take out the bullet in the chamber and the magazine and gave his gun back to Potter.
Watch Day 7 Morning live (3hr 27min):
After lunch, interim Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tony Gruenig and Special Agent Michael Phill of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified.
Watch Day 7 Afternoon live (2hr 02min):
Day 6: Testimony [Twitter Thread 1 & 2]
A total of nine witnesses testified and the jury saw a breakdown of the police response to Kim Potter fatally shooting Daunte Wright. Three witnesses took the stand before the morning break on the second day of testimony. All three; Alayna Albrecht-Payton, Patricia Lundgren, and Denise Lundgren Wells were directly negatively impacted by Kim Potter killing Daunte Wright.
Alayna, who was with Daunte when he was killed, was first to testify. Alayna said she had met Daunte a few weeks prior to Potter killing him. Alayna emotionally spoke about the injuries she sustained from the car crash after Potter shot Daunte. Her jaw was broken, she required stitches on her lower lip, and she’s left with continual pain and discomfort.
Patricia Lundgren testified about being on the other end of the car crash. She was driving with her husband, Kenneth Lundgren, when their car was struck by the car that Daunte was in after he was shot by Potter. Her daughter, Denise Wells, took the stand after Patricia and echoed her mother’s concern for the deterioration in Kenneth’s health that occurred after the accident. Kerry Blanski, who lives near where the cars crashed, also testified.
The defense pushed the witnesses to say that the car that crashed into them was driven by Daunte Wright (although it was after he was shot by Potter).
Next to testify was Brooklyn Center Police Officer Alan Salvosa who was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene. Salvosa was driving to the scene of where Brooklyn Center Police Officer Anthony Luckey (who testified the day before) and his training officer Kim Potter had pulled Mr. Wright over. Salvosa was driving directly behind the Lundgren’s when their car was struck by the car Wright was in.
In response, Salvosa immediately pulled his service weapon and kept it drawn on the car Daunte and Alayna occupied after it came to a rest from the accident. He said he didn’t have any information as to what was transpiring before him besides what he thought was a suspect fleeing a traffic stop, making that action a felony in Salvosa’s eyes.
Salvosa’s body cam video was shown to the court. In the video, after Salvosa demanded Alayna get out of the vehicle numerous times, officers were then shown taking Alayna forcefully, making her drop all of her belongings including purse and phone, and handcuffing her before placing her in a squad car.
Watch Day 6 Morning live (4hr 03min):
In the afternoon Champlin Police Officer Dan Irish and Brooklyn Center Police Officer Jeff Sommers testified as well as medical professionals Mike Morelock and Dustin Johnson. All four of the witnesses gave testimony as to their involvement in processing the scene of the crash and Daunte’s death. Morelock testified that he wasn’t given any clear ideas as to what had transpired at the scene, nor how many victims there were until after declaring Daunte dead around 2:18 p.m.
Testimony and body cam footage showed that after Potter fatally shot Wright, none of the officers on the scene radioed any specific information besides “shots fired.” During the opening statements Potter was shown hysterically crying and falling out after she shot Wright. All the while, for nearly ten minutes police a block away failed to render any kind of medical aid to him until they concocted a plan of how to group up and cover the car as they feared car occupants could have been the shooter.
During a moment of testimony, defense attorney Paul Engh asked if officer Sommers had worked with Kim Potter’s husband, Jeff, in the past and if he saw him in the courtroom. A quick sidebar was called by the judge and that line of questioning wasn’t continued. Jeff Potter worked as police officer in Fridley, a nearby suburb, for 27 years and is a Taser trainer.
After the jury left, the judge announced some of the discussions that were happening during the breaks and the defense made a motion for a mistrial based on the grounds that they felt the prosecution didn’t provide any evidentiary findings relevant to proving Potter guilty for manslaughter. The state replied saying they were calling for a ‘blakely notice,‘ seeking an aggravated sentence and that the relevance of the testimony was pertaining to the actions of Potter being a danger to others. Judge Regina Chu denied the motion for a mistrial.
Watch Day 6 Afternoon live (3hr 22min):
Day 5: Opening Statements [Twitter Thread 1 & 2]
Opening statements were made and two of the state’s first witnesses testified on the stand, Daunte’s mother, Katie Bryant and Brooklyn Center Police officer Anthony Luckey.
On the morning of December 8, the legal counsel for both teams were in the judge’s chambers until about 9:45 a.m. speaking on motions. Confirming on the record, Judge Regina Chu stated that Daunte Wright’s autopsy photos can be used, overruling the defense’s objections. The photos wont be broadcast during the court feed.
Defense attorney Paul Engh mentioned an objection regarding testimony from a passenger in the car that Daunte Wright was driving when he was pulled over and killed. Engh stated that the passenger allegedly told police she was handed some Xanax tablets from Daunte and the defense was hoping to use this to prove that Wright was planning to flee the traffic stop.
Like the #GeorgeFloyd killing and the Derek Chauvin trial, Officer Kim Potter’s attorneys are trying to use drug allegations to blame #DaunteWright for his own murder (Judge Chu is not allowing this particular evidence) https://t.co/O1xIXNPBQg
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 8, 2021
“Any type of evidence in regard to bad behavior by Mr. Wright would not be admissible unless [former] Officer Potter was aware of it at the time of the incident … the key issue in this is Ms. Potter’s state of mind when this happened … the Xanax has nothing to do with that issue and would only serve to mislead or confuse the jury.“Judge Chu on not allowing defense to bring forth testimony of passenger in car that Daunte Wright was driving
Judge Chu ruled on the record that evidence of Daunte’s alleged past offenses would not be admissible and that the state would need to prove that Potter knew she had her gun in her hand.
Opening statements in the Potter trial started around 10:30 a.m. with prosecuting attorney Erin Eldridge speaking for the state. Eldridge showed slides with images and videos of the killing to the jury. She spoke at length about how Potter was trained to know which side that her taser was on, even showing Potter in different body camera videos from years in the past with her taser on her left side.
Eldridge goes over the basic mechanism by which tasers work, and explains how Officer Potter was trained to keep her taser on her left side, how to use it / not to use it – Potter had to be re-certified in taser and firearm use yearly pic.twitter.com/tUne8gfiiU
— Unicorn Riot – Kim Potter Trial Updates (@UnicornRiotLive) December 8, 2021
Eldridge said Potter betrayed her oath, her badge, her public trust, and Daunte Wright when she pointed her gun at his chest and fatally shot him.
Paul Engh gave the opening statement for Kim Potter’s defense. Engh noted that Potter will testify in the trial and she’ll speak about how she wanted to Tase Mr. Wright because Sgt. Johnson could’ve been killed if Wright managed to drive away.
Watch Day 5 Opening Statements live (4hr 07min):
Daunte Wright’s mother Katie was the first person to testify. Katie said Daunte was a huge jokester, making everyone laugh. He loved basketball and played it through high school. Daunte was a father to a two-year-old son, Daunte Jr., and worked at Taco Bell and Famous Footwear at the time of his death and was enrolled at Summit Academy to received trades training.
Katie spoke about seeing Daunte the morning before he was killed. He came home to get money for a car wash. Katie said that she had just put Daunte Jr. to sleep. A short time after Daunte had left, he called her and told her he was being pulled over because a air freshener was hanging from his rearview mirror. She told him to hand the phone to the police officer to explain the car insurance situation. Daunte seemed nervous on the phone, but Katie reassured him it would be okay.
She said she heard the police officer come back to the window, and ask Daunte to step out of the vehicle. Daunte asked why and the officer said he would tell Daunte once he got out. Daunte put the phone down and got out. She heard the officer say “no” and “don’t run” and she heard him say “I’m not” and then heard someone say “disconnect the phone” and then the phone call ended. She tried calling back about four times. She called through facetime and a female answered the phone screaming.
She told Katie “they shot him” and showed via facetime Daunte’s body in the driver seat. She then heard someone else say get off the phone. Katie then called 911 to figure out where her son was. They transferred her to a few different police stations. They gave her an address and she got into the car and put her grandson in the car. A neighbor ended up driving them.
“It seemed like forever” to get to the location of Daunte. There was a lot of traffic and also police cars about six blocks up. She said she got out of the car and started running. The car ended up catching up with her, she got back in. Then ran out again when they got to the yellow tape. The prosecution then entered exhibit 6, a video of Katie Bryant getting to the scene.
Brooklyn Center Police officer Anthony Luckey was next on the stand. Luckey was being trained by Kim Potter and spoke about initiating the traffic stop.
Watch Day 5 Afternoon live (3hr 30min):
Day 4: Jury Selection [Twitter Thread]
On December 3, the last two jurors, one woman and one man, both white, were chosen to sit on the Potter trial.
A full panel of 14 jurors have been selected.
Seven men and seven women have been chosen to sit on the jury. Eleven of the jurors are white, two are Asian and one is Black. Listed below is the juror’s court-given number, sex, racial identity, and age.
- Juror #2: white male, 50s
- Juror #6: white woman, 60s
- Juror #7: white male, 20s
- Juror #11: Asian woman, 40s
- Juror #17: white woman, 20s
- Juror #19: Black woman, 30s
- Juror #21: white male, 40s
- Juror #22: white male, 60s
- Juror #26: Asian woman, 20s
- Juror #40: white male, 40s
- Juror #48: white woman, 40s
- Juror #55: white male, 50s
- Juror #57: white woman, 70s [alternate]
- Juror #58: white male, 30s [alternate]
Jury Instructions – Juror Questionnaire – Witness Lists (Defense) (Prosecution)
Watch Day 4 live (2hr):
Day 3: Jury Selection [Twitter Thread]
Three jurors were selected on December 2, leaving only two more to fill up the jury panel. All three of the chosen were white and all in their 40s or 50s, with two of them men. In the afternoon, one of the most shocking moments of questioning potential jurors occurred when juror 52 said her uncle was killed by police.
Potential juror 52 was dismissed in day 3 of the #KimPotterTrial for an admitted bias against police whom she said killed her uncle.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 3, 2021
The day started with potential juror 33, a teacher who was audibly emotional when he said that Daunte reminded him of one of his students, was dismissed for cause by the court after he said he couldn’t approach the case without a bias against the defendant Kim Potter. Potential juror 35 wrote on their questionnaire that they attended protests last year carrying signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “Justice for Daunte Wright,” and “Justice Breonna Taylor.” She said she had a family trip over the end of the year with non-refundable tickets so the judge dismissed her for cause over the state’s objection.
The third potential juror of the morning was also dismissed after the court dismissed him for a language barrier, as Somali was his first language and English was his second language. Although the District court system states they provide Somali interpreters “for equal access,” they apparently do not provide interpreters for jury duty as he was the second potential juror in jury selection to be struck for such a reason.
Before the court broke for lunch, potential juror 40 was empaneled. He said he was a cop cadet in Bloomington as a youth and formerly wanted to be a cop but moved into IT work, because ‘computers don’t talk back’ and he didn’t want to shoot someone. He was the tenth juror seated. The defense used a strike on the next juror, number 46, who works on an administrative level, potentially for the city and is interested in structural reforms to increase equity across all government systems.
“Police in my community makes me feel safe.“Empaneled Juror 48
Juror 48, a white woman in her 50s was the next to be questioned and eventually empaneled as the 11th juror. They stated that they had worked as an administrator at a patent company in the early 2000s. She also stated that she a cousin who’s girlfriend “works as an investigator in St. Paul,” and said she felt safe with police in her community. She had answered on the questionnaire that she didn’t think Daunte Wright should’ve been killed over an expired tab. When asked by Judge Chu if she could put her opinions aside, she said yes.
The defense then struck potential juror 51, who had said that her friend quit being a police officer because she didn’t feel like he was safe doing his job.
The next juror was 52 who spoke about her friend having a run-in with Kim Potter after her friend had reported a hit-and-run. She said that Potter was telling her to leave her Black boyfriend and that he was a bad influence.
According to 52, Kim Potter began asking her friend about her friend’s boyfriend who is Black, instead of asking about the hit-and-run, which is why she was questioning her to begin with. Potter allegedly said she shouldn’t be with him because he is Black and a bad influence.
— Unicorn Riot – Kim Potter Trial Updates (@UnicornRiotLive) December 2, 2021
Shortly after speaking about their friend’s story of Kim Potter, juror 52 said she couldn’t put aside the negative feelings she had towards police. She said that police have treated their family wrong and had murdered their uncle. She was dismissed for cause by the courts as they said they could not be a fair and impartial juror.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 2, 2021
The last juror of the day, juror 55, is a white male in his 50s who has jousting challenges in his backyard. He told the court he is a veteran of the U.S navy as well as a former Cub Scout leader in the Boy Scouts of America. His wife was the victim of a violent crime by a group of “three to four” young men in their 20s. When asked about the ethnicity of the attackers he was unable to remember if they we’re either “Hispanic or African-American” but affirmed that the incident would not influence his decision on the case. Juror 55 was selected onto the jury making him the 12th of the 14 needed.
Watch Day 3 Afternoon live (3hr 25min):
Watch Day 3 Morning live (3hr 37min):
Day 2: Jury Selection [Twitter Thread]
A total of five more jurors were chosen to sit on the jury during jury selection proceedings on December 1, making a total of 9 empaneled jurors. Within 20 minutes of starting the second day, juror 17, a white woman who just graduated school was the fifth juror empaneled.
A short time later, juror 19, a Black woman from near the area where Potter killed Daunte Wright, made it onto the jury. She said she has a permit to carry a firearm, that she owns a Taser, and is a teacher and a mother of two. Juror 21 and 22 were next to be seated on the jury. Both are white men in their 40s to 60s. An Asian woman in her 20s was next to be empaneled making her the ninth on the jury.
Watch Day 2 Afternoon live (3hr 43min):
Watch Day 2 Morning live (3hr 05min):
Day 1: Jury Selection, Protest and a Car Attack [Article] [Twitter Thread]
The first day of jury selection in the Kim Potter trial started on November 30, 2021, and four juror were empaneled. The judge gave each jury pool a rundown of the proceedings and introduced the state and the defense.
Three jurors were empaneled before the lunch break. As of 10:00 a.m., ‘juror number 2’ was the first juror empaneled, a few minutes before noon ‘juror number 6’ was chosen as the second juror, and around 12:30 p.m. ‘juror number 7’ was also empaneled. All three chosen as of lunch break were likely of Caucasian background with two of them mid-to-elder age along with a 29-year-old male operations manager at Target who’s in a rock band. A fourth juror was chosen around 4:20 p.m.
Outside the courthouse, activist non-profit Black Visual Justice and other protesters took space in the south plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center. They erected a large art display with several banner images of Daunte Wright, and a painted banner reading “9mm ≠ Taser” in the middle of two enlarged car air fresheners.
Around 4 p.m. protesters gathered around the Hennepin County Government Center, led by the loved ones of people killed by police violence.
About an hour later a driver directed their vehicle into a group of protesters, but serious physical injuries were not reported at the time. (The vehicle attack is at about 7hr 58min in the video below.)
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Wright’s fatal encounter with Potter leads to manslaughter charges
The day after Wright was killed, Potter’s body cam video was released showing Potter shooting Wright with her firearm as she was yelling “Taser!“
Brooklyn Center’s police chief and city manager were sacked, and Potter was allowed to resign and charged with second-degree manslaughter (culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk).
Potter was booked into the Hennepin County jail upon arrest and bonded out within a few hours. Law enforcement provided concrete barricades and personal security at her suburban home after her release. In late May 2021, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison accepted the request from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to lead the prosecution of now-former officer Potter.
On September 2, Potter was charged with an additional felony: first-degree manslaughter predicated on alleged reckless use/handling of a firearm.
Presided over by Judge Regina Chu, the trial of State of Minnesota vs. Kimberly Potter is being held in Courtroom 1856 of the Hennepin County Government Center with strict COVID-19 protocols and video/audio coverage. The Wright family has three reserved seats in the courtroom along with access to an overflow room.
Opening arguments are slated to begin around December 8 after the jury is empaneled. Jury selection began Tuesday, November 30.
Potter had decades of experience as an officer – she was a training officer and a representative of the police union. She has tapped criminal defense attorneys Earl Gray and Paul Engh to defend her. Gray is also representing former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in the death of George Floyd.
In the immediate aftermath, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, started the process of reforming the public safety system in Brooklyn Center with The Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety and Violence Prevention Resolution.