Shadow of Floyd, Chauvin case hangs over Kim Potter’s trial

Dec 6, 2021, 7:03 AM | Updated: Dec 7, 2021, 4:53 am
In this image from video, Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank listens as Hennepin Co...

In this image from video, Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank listens as Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu discusses jury instructions in court Monday Dec. 6, 2021, in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter in the April 11, 2021, death of Daunte Wright, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

(Court TV, via AP, Pool)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It’s former Officer Kim Potter who’s on trial for the killing of Daunte Wright, but the trial in the same courtroom earlier this year of ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is casting a shadow over the proceedings.

During jury selection last week, there was little mention of Chauvin or Floyd, whose death sparked outrage over police brutality in the U.S. The court has seemed determined at times not to bring it up.

But with opening statements set for Wednesday, reminders of the earlier case are everywhere, ranging from the presence of some of the same prosecutors who tried Chauvin to potential jurors being asked about their fears of delivering an unpopular verdict.

Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu is using the same 18th-floor courtroom where Chauvin was convicted of murder in April by a jury that repeatedly watched video of the white officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a Black man, and where Chauvin was later sentenced by Judge Peter Cahill to 22 1/2 years.

Video will also figure prominently in Potter’s manslaughter trial. The jury will see footage showing the white officer shouting “Taser, Taser, Taser” as she aimed her Glock 9 mm semi-automatic pistol at Wright, a Black man, as he tried to drive away from a traffic stop on April 11, then fired a fatal bullet into his chest before exclaiming, “I grabbed the wrong (expletive) gun.”

Her attorneys say Wright’s death was an innocent mistake, not a crime.

Though Floyd’s death was rarely mentioned directly during jury selection, his case’s impact on the trial has been obvious. The jury pool got nearly the same questionnaires used for Chauvin’s trial, with only slight edits in some places to fit the circumstances of the Potter case. It doesn’t mention either Chauvin or Floyd by name.

Jurors were asked whether they agree with the “defund the police” movement that gained momentum after Floyd’s death. They were asked whether they trust police — and whether it’s right to second-guess an officer’s actions under pressure. They were also asked if they had been affected by damaging protests.

Prosecutors and the defense sifted their answers carefully and probed deeper in court. People with moderate views were more likely to be seated, like a man who said he opposed cutting police funding but also said: “I absolutely believe there’s a need for change.”

Some potential jurors were asked by the defense if they had any concern about blowback if they were to acquit Potter. The only Black person to make it onto the jury, a woman in her 30s, said that “is not a concern for me.”

One of the few direct mentions of Floyd came from a woman who said his case “caused a lot of trauma in our city” and it made her sad. She said she did not like the negative attention it brought Minneapolis, but said a positive result of protests is that important issues are being discussed.

She made the jury as an alternate.

Just as with Chauvin, Potter’s trial is being livestreamed, a rarity in Minnesota that is partly a concession to high public interest and partly due to pandemic considerations. The courtroom has clear plastic dividers that are strategically placed.

People who tune in will see several of the same faces who successfully prosecuted Chauvin, too: Assistant Attorneys General Matthew Frank and Erin Eldridge sit at the prosecution table, with their boss Keith Ellison frequently in the courtroom.

Security is heightened for the trial, with several entrances to the courthouse closed off. But the tall chain-link fences, razor wire and concrete barriers put in place for Chauvin are gone, as are the National Guard soldiers and armored vehicles that patrolled the area this spring. And the building is open to the public.

___

Find the AP’s full coverage of the Daunte Wright case: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-daunte-wright

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Thursday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= Bridgeport 56, Cascade Christian Academy 27 Burlington-Edison 62, Oak Harbor 16 Central Valley 58, University 52 Coupeville 47, Concrete 25 Emerald Ridge 77, Bethel 46 Everett 51, Meadowdale 38 Hockinson 43, Ridgefield 30 Hope Christian, N.M. 63, Valley Christian 48 Hudson’s Bay 58, Washougal 55 La Conner 108, Darrington 18 Lummi 50, […]
23 hours ago
A currency trader walks by the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left,...
Associated Press

Asian shares slide after more losses on Wall Street

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were lower in Asia on Friday after a late afternoon sell-off wiped out gains for stocks on Wall Street. Tokyo fell 0.9% after Toyota Motor Corp. announced production cuts due to parts shortages. Other major regional markets also fell. Oil prices slipped, with the U.S. benchmark crude down as much as […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Thursday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Bridgeport def. Cascade Christian Academy, forfeit Curtis 70, Puyallup 37 Emerald Ridge 55, Bethel 36 Graham-Kapowsin 45, Olympia 44 Ilwaco 57, Forks 37 La Center 64, Elma 52 La Conner 62, Darrington 35 Life Christian Academy 72, Bellevue Christian 36 Lummi 66, Grace Academy 41 Mount Vernon Christian 56, Muckleshoot Tribal School […]
23 hours ago
Virginia Beach, Va., Public Works crews prepare Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, morning for snow from an i...
Associated Press

Parts of Southeast await a blast of snow, ice, freezing rain

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Several schools have canceled classes in coastal areas of the Carolinas and Virginia and authorities are urging drivers to stay off potentially icy roads amid forecasts of snow, sleet and freezing rain. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency ahead of the latest winter storm […]
23 hours ago
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during interview at the UN Headquarters, T...
Associated Press

UN chief: World worse now due to COVID, climate, conflict

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — As he starts his second term as U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said Thursday the world is worse in many ways than it was five years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and geopolitical tensions that have sparked conflicts everywhere — but unlike U.S. President Joe Biden he thinks […]
23 hours ago
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, addresses the state Senate at the Capitol in Sacramento, ...
Associated Press

Preteens may be vaxed without parents under California bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent, the youngest age of any state, under a proposal late Thursday by a state senator. Alabama allows such decisions at age 14, Oregon at 15, Rhode Island and South Carolina at 16, according to Sen. Scott […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Shadow of Floyd, Chauvin case hangs over Kim Potter’s trial