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4 jurors seated in Kim Potter trial; defense says she'll testify

Paul Walsh, Chao Xiong and Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune on

Published in News & Features

MINNEAPOLIS — Four jurors were selected by day's end Tuesday in the manslaughter trial of Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot Daunte Wright during what started as a traffic stop in April and who the defense says will testify on her own behalf.

Jury selection is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning in Hennepin County District Court in connection with Potter, 49, being charged in Hennepin County District Court with first- and second-degree manslaughter for killing Wright with her service firearm while yelling "Taser!"

The jurors chosen so far are a white man in his 20s, a woman of Asian descent in her 40s, a white man in his 50s, and a white woman in her 60s.

Late in the morning during questioning of one potential juror, defense attorney Paul Engh disclosed that Potter will testify in her own defense.

The jury candidate said she wondered "how did this happen?" after learning that the 20-year-old Wright was fatally shot while Potter yelled "Taser!" three times.

"Officer Potter will testify and tell you what she remembered happened," Engh said, "so you will know, not just from the video but from the officers at the scene and Officer Potter herself, what was occurring."

 

The woman, who is white and in her 60s, was added to the jury panel after pledging that she would judge the case solely on the evidence and testimony, and in particular "would evaluate [Potter's testimony] like any other witness."

She said she's aware that Wright has a criminal history, but "I know that the victim is not on trial."

The retired suburban public school teacher did acknowledge that Potter's interaction with Wright lasted just 12 seconds, adding, "I really feel for any law enforcement because things can happen so quickly."

Prosecutor Matthew Frank, referencing that timespan, pointed out that Potter received training on how to react in high-stakes incidents that unfold quickly.

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