The trial of former Minnesota cop Kim Potter in the April 2021 shooting death of Daunte Wright began this week with jury selection. So far, the jurors selected to hear the case are mostly white.
Potter is on trial facing manslaughter charges after she fired on 20-year-old Daunte during a traffic stop earlier this year. Graphic body camera footage shows Potter yelling "Taser" while she held her gun and opened fire on the young father.
According to NBC News, nine of the 12 jurors seated for the trial so far are white. One of the jurors identifies as Black and two as Asian.
The jury is currently evenly split across gender and an additional two jurors are due to be chosen as alternates before opening statements begin next week.
What We Know About the Jury So Far
Of the jurors selected so far, one includes an information technology professional who told the court he once wanted to be a police officer and even participated in a high school police officer explorer program.
The juror said he changed his mind because he was afraid he "would end up having to use my gun." The juror also said he has a somewhat negative outlook on Potter because, he said, she should had enough "muscle memory" to know she had her gun and not her taser during the fatal traffic stop.
Another juror, a woman, wrote on her questionnaire that Wright shouldn't have died over something like expired tags –– one of the reasons police said they pulled over the 20-year-old's car in the first place –– but said she could put aside her view and reach a verdict based on evidence presented in court.
There's also a Navy veteran who had been stunned by a taser in training decades ago, but could put aside the personal experience to reach a verdict based on what's said during the trial. He added that he saw the bodycam footage once and said the incident looked chaotic and that a lot was happening at once.
Potter's defense used one of its two challenges to dismiss a first-year law student, an Asian woman who has reportedly previously made comments about police-involved convictions on social media.
One of the prosecutors, Matthew Frank, tried to object the defense's challenge stating the dismissal can't be made on the basis or race, gender or ethnicity but was ultimately overruled by Judge Regina Chu.
Another juror agreed to keep serving even after Judge Chu expressed concerned that his identity had been made public. Under Chu's order, the jury is to remain anonymous.
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