Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
On Monday, the jury deliberated for a little over five hours. Following another 90 minutes of deliberations today, the jury ended for the day a little after 6 p.m. The jury has yet to reach a verdict on whether or not former police officer Kim Potter committed manslaughter in the shooting of Daunte Wright.
Accused of first- and second-degree manslaughter is former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter, who is white.
Potter, 49, faces a sentence of about seven years if convicted of the most serious charge. Prosecutors plan to go for more.
Potter says she intended to use her taser on Wright rather than her gun.
Prosecutors presented evidence regarding the differences in weight, feel, size, color, and how the gun was holstered on her right side while the taser was on her left.
Attorney Erin Eldridge had said the jury could compare the taser and the gun in her closing argument, “to get a feel for the two and to get a sense of all those differences that you heard about in court, and see for yourselves how different they really are.”
In response to the jurors’ request, the judge told them that they could remove zip ties and hold the former police officer’s gun. Paul Engh, the attorney for Potter, objected, saying that the gun should remain in the box “for safety purposes.”
Jurors can also examine the taser as part of their judicial deliberation process.
The Jury’s Question
“If the jury cannot reach consensus, what is the guidance around how long and what steps should be taken?” the jury question read.
“Discuss the case with one another and deliberate with a view toward reaching agreement if you can do so without violating your individual judgment,” Chu replied.
Potter’s attorneys argued that rereading that paragraph inappropriately emphasizes that paragraph over the rest.
Judge Chu quickly overruled.
A professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Rachel Moran noted that the jury members did not indicate they were at a dead end.
“Judge (Regina) Chu is going to let them keep deliberating if they don’t express concern or distress about how it’s going,” she stated.
The judge ordered that the jury remains in an undisclosed hotel during deliberations. They cannot return home until they have reached a verdict or until the judge determines there is no verdict.
If they do not discuss the trial, they may communicate with family.