Jurors in Potter trial end 3rd day of deliberations without a verdict
Jurors in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter, who shot and killed Black motorist Daunte Wright, have ended their third day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.
Jury members began deliberations at 8:25 a.m., which is earlier than Tuesday’s start time of 9 a.m. They wrapped up at 6 p.m. Wednesday, marking 24 hours total of deliberation since closing arguments ended Monday afternoon.
A pool reporter states Wright’s father and a few others also arrived at the courthouse around 8:30.
The jury had asked Judge Regina Chu Tuesday how to proceed if they can’t reach a verdict.
"If you can do so without violating your individual judgment. You should decide the case for yourself, but only after you have discussed the case with your fellow jurors and have carefully considered their views. You should not hesitate to re-examine your views and change your opinions if you become convinced are erroneous," said Judge Chu.
She then told jurors to continue their work.
Jurors also asked if the zip ties could be removed from Potter’s gun, which was tied to an evidence box. Judge Chu did allow that and told jury members a deputy would remove the zip ties, and after they were done with the gun, it would be returned to the deputy to be zip-tied again to the box.
She added the gun wouldn’t be loaded and would be fully secure.
As of the lunch hour Wednesday, jurors had not asked any other questions.
Jack Rice, a defense attorney who isn’t connected to the trial, said the second question is big for the prosecution.
"This is in a very controlled environment…which cuts against what the defense was doing, which was saying, it doesn’t matter how you’re trained, it’s totally different in the field…but the jury is going to pick up that sidearm, that Glock and it’s going to feel a ton different than a taser. If I’m the defense attorney, in this case, that makes me nervous," said Rice.
Heading into day three of deliberation, Rice expects the jury to be exhausted and says they may start to feel pressure to get to a verdict.
Potter is charged with manslaughter in Wright’s April 11 death that came after a traffic stop.
Potter has said she meant to use her Taser on Wright.
Before beginning deliberations Wednesday, jurors had been discussing the case for about 15 hours so far.
Rice tells Eyewitness News 5 the longer a jury takes deliberating, the more likely it is to reach a not guilty verdict.
If they don’t come to an agreement by Christmas Eve, Judge Chu says they will be able to go home for the holidays and come back the following week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.