LIVE UPDATES: 4th juror seated as jury selection continues; attorney says Kim Potter will testify at trial
Potential juror No. 15, a woman in her 20s, is called in for questioning at 4:25 p.m. Chu notes the potential juror volunteered for Attorney General Keith Ellison’s campaign in 2018. She says she was connected to his campaign and thought it would be a good political opportunity but she didn’t make any connections and left after a month. She adds that it won’t affect her opinions or judgments of the state’s case at all.
After about 10 minutes, Engh begins questioning the potential juror. She says, by watching the video of Wright’s death, she thought it could’ve been accidental. She adds that Potter’s actions were careless and unfortunate after George Floyd’s death. She visited George Floyd Memorial Square twice and participated in protests once. She says she has a degree in public health and is well aware of systemic and personal racial bias but she doesn’t believe it applies in this case. Engh also asks her about defunding police and the potential juror says she supports it because she believes some of the funding could be used in other things more deserving of that funding, based on her studies. Additionally, she says she wishes the U.S. system for gun regulation would be more like Japan. She says she does a lot of research into disinformation for her job and Blue Lives Matter is used as a calling card for white supremacy. She also called Black Lives Matter unstable due to several leadership changes. Potential juror No. 15 says she believes the justice system is flawed and she has many thoughts on fixing it.
Engh then announces that the defense is using its first peremptory strike and potential juror No. 15 is dismissed.
Chu then wraps up proceedings for the day with jury selection to continue Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
Potential juror No. 14 is called in to begin questioning at 4:23 p.m. He says he’s a sophomore in school and would miss classes if picked for the jury. He also said his political beliefs and family’s political beliefs would affect him.
Frank asks if the trial would be during his finals and the potential juror says yes. He’s then dismissed for cause.
At 3:45 p.m., potential juror No. 11 — a middle-aged Asian woman — is questioned by Chu. She says someone she knew died in a stabbing but it wouldn’t affect her ability to be impartial.
After 10 minutes, Gray takes over questioning. She says she’s a rule-follower. She also says her brother just finished his term in the Marines.
About five minutes later, Frank questions potential juror No. 11 about being affected by the demonstrations over the past year. She says she works in Minneapolis and it’s been "questionable" in the area so she has not liked them. She also called them "scary" because they were near her home. She notes she believes police keep order but mistakes happen. She believes she could be impartial. Frank carefully questions her about her ability to be impartial and make a decision based solely on evidence in the trial and the law.
After nearly 20 minutes, Chu tells the potential juror that she’ll be part of the jury, making her the fourth juror seated for the case.
At 3:03 p.m., all of the potential jurors except potential juror No. 10 leave and questioning begins. He repeatedly says his wife has had health struggles recently and he feels very uncomfortable being a juror because people might recognize him.
After nearly 15 minutes of questioning by Chu, the potential jurors says he’d serve if picked and Engh takes over questioning potential juror No. 10. After Engh tells the potential juror he can be excused if it’s he says serving would be a hardship, he says it would be a hardship and the attorneys and Chu go to a sidebar. Chu then excuses the juror for cause.
Chu also then announces a 20-minute break with jury selection set to resume at 3:45 p.m.
At 2:40 p.m., a new panel of potential jurors is brought in and Chu explains the logistics of the case and the process of jury selection.
Potential juror No. 9, a white man in his 30s or 40s, says his friend’s shop was raided in unrest last year, he rebuilt and then was raided again. However, hays his relationship with his friend wouldn’t push his opinion one way or the other. He adds that he’s had the feeling some officers have a racial bias. He also says he’s never served on a jury.
After about 10 minutes, Engh starts questioning potential juror No. 9. The potential juror says he doesn’t know if the defense would want to select him. When asked to elaborate, he says he doesn’t know what evidence would change his mind and he has some biases against Potter. He adds that he doesn’t think there are many people who wouldn’t have a bias in this case.
After about five minutes of questioning, Frank steps up and asks the potential juror whether he can set any biases he has aside when making a decision about this case. Frank also points out the potential juror did respond on the questionnaire that he could set his biases aside. The potential juror says he could make a decision that’s not solely based on what he knows now and he also believes in a fair trial.
A few minutes later, Chu and the attorneys have another sidebar and then Chu tells potential juror No. 9 that he will not serve on the jury for this case, granting the defense’s request to have the juror dismissed for cause.
At 1:33 p.m., potential juror No. 8 — a white man in his 50s or 60s — is called in for questioning. He says he’s retired, interested and thinks he’d do a good job.
After about five minutes, Gray begins questioning the potential juror. Potential juror No. 8 says he thinks he’d be open-minded to both sides.
Frank takes over a few minutes later. Potential juror No. 8 says he worked in the fire department for 31 years, becoming a captain before he retired six years ago. Says he worked somewhat closely with Minneapolis police officers during his time in the fire department. He says his nephew is a police officer in St. Cloud but they don’t talk about his work regularly. He adds that he wouldn’t be more likely to believe a police officer because they’re just other people. Frank tries to really get clear answers from potential juror No. 8 about his relationship and view toward police officers, and the potential juror says he doesn’t just make decisions based on his relationships and says he’s "lost a friend or two" over siding with someone he didn’t know well over his friend. Frank also zeroed in on the potential juror’s thoughts on accountability and opinions of police officers.
After nearly 30 minutes, Chu starts to tell the potential juror he’ll be on the jury but, after a brief sidebar, the state strikes the potential juror and potential juror No. 8 is dismissed.
It’s the first of up to three potential jurors the state has chosen to strike. The defense can still strike up to five jurors.
At 1:33 p.m., potential juror No. 8 is called in for questioning and jury selection continues.
At 11:58 a.m., potential juror No. 7 — a 29-year-old white man — enters and undergoes questioning by Chu. He says he saw the video after it was initially released but it’s not fresh in his head and he’s open to seeing different sides of it. Says he’s an operations manager that works overnights at Target, says he’s currently been up for nearly 24 hours but he’s talked about the possibility of serving on the jury with his bosses and has been told he could take leave, if selected. Says he’s been through firearm safety training in the past and used to own a Taser but no longer does. He says he’s had good experiences with police officers but believes having a badge shouldn’t disqualify someone from being held accountable either.
After about 10 minutes, Gray starts questioning potential juror No. 7. He clarifies that he spent his 20s touring with a rock band and playing bass so he had a stun gun during that time but no longer has it. His firearm safety class was when he was 14. He says some of the past court cases or incidents he’s seen involving police have made his slightly distrustful of police officers but he values and appreciates law enforcement. He adds that he could set aside any distrust and go into the case with an open mind.
After 15 minutes, Frank starts questioning potential juror No. 7. He says he does have some family members in law enforcement but they aren’t as close as he’d like.
Chu then tells him that he will serve on the jury for this case and will receive more information at a later time.
Chu also puts the court in recess for a lunch break. Jury selection will continue at 1:30 p.m.
The court session resumes at 11:14 a.m. and the questioning of potential juror No. 6 — a white woman possibly in her 60s — begins. Chu asks a few questions and the potential juror says she believes there’s evidence on both sides and she could be impartial. She adds she’s never served on a jury before but says she believes the justice system works, although juries aren’t always balanced or equitable. She adds that one of her daughters died on New Year’s Day nearly two years ago and she’s been treated for anxiety and depression in the past. She says she thinks she could focus during the trial but may be emotional. She’s also a retired teacher.
After about 10 minutes, Engh starts questioning potential juror No. 6. She says her first reaction was "how could this happen?" and she still feels that. Engh says if potential juror No. 6 serves on the jury, she will hear testimony directly from Potter about that. Potential juror No. 6 says law enforcement officers have dangerous jobs but she believes they should be able to handle themselves. She adds that she’s very anti-gun, never owned a gun and believes laws about what kind of guns people can buy should be looked at. She says she watches a lot of true crime programs and is interested in them.
After nearly 15 minutes, Frank starts questioning potential juror No. 6. She says her brother was in the Marines and her father was in the Army. She views peaceful protests as fine but says violence isn’t acceptable. On Blue Lives Matter, she says they matter like everybody else, notes sometimes police officers also make bad decisions.
Chu then informs her that she’s been chosen to serve on the jury and will be provided more information at a later time.
At 10:15 a.m., potential juror No. 5 — a white man in his 40s or early 50s — is questioned by Chu about all of the news reports he says he’s seen about the case, he says he’d "do his best" to be impartial but insists he stays very informed. He notes his father-in-law is a retired lawyer and judge in Michigan and he also has a cousin who is a judge in Minnesota. He notes he did serve on a jury for a civil case in 1996-97. He’s also an assistant youth hockey coach and he hopes he’s setting a good example for his kids by showing up for jury duty.
After about 10 minutes, defense attorney Paul Engh begins questioning potential juror No. 5. He says he’s law-abiding and follows the rules, and he feels frustrated by what’s happening lately because he feels like people are treated differently. He also notes he’s very against riots and recent crime and says he doesn’t believe some criminals are being prosecuted as they should. He adds that he appreciates what police officers do to protect people, he works in construction and works with state troopers and is very appreciative of the work they do. He also is against defunding police departments. He also noted he has pepper spray in his home and vehicles and says "it’s pretty sad" he has to do that nowadays. His wife is in pharmaceutical sales.
Frank begins questioning potential juror No. 5 at 10:38 a.m. He calls Black Lives Matter a Marxist, communist organization, and he explains that he uses pepper spray primarily instead of guns because guns will get you in trouble, even if it’s for self-defense. He also says the law is applied differently to different people based on political views. He also says he believes Wright wasn’t held accountable for some of his past actions and "if [Wright] would’ve listened to the directions, he’d still be with us."
After about 10 minutes, Chu informs potential juror No. 5 that he’s been excused and won’t serve on the jury for this case.
Chu then calls for a 20-minute morning break with jury selection to continue at 11:10 a.m.
Judge Chu asks potential juror No. 4 — an Asian woman in her 20s or early 30s — about a comment on her questionnaire where she said law enforcement officers shouldn’t be second-guessed and she notes she does believe law enforcement should be held accountable.
At 10:07 a.m., Gray begins questioning potential juror No. 4. Asked about her view toward Potter, potential juror No. 4 says she saw video of Wright’s death and has a negative view of Potter. After about five minutes of questioning and a sidebar that lasted a few minutes, potential juror No. 4 is excused by Chu and won’t serve on the jury.
At 9:40 a.m., all potential jurors except potential juror No. 2 — a middle-aged white man — leave the court and questioning of potential juror No. 2 begins. Chu asked the potential juror the first question about why he believes Blue Lives Matter is unfavorable, to which he replied that he believes it’s a counter cry to Black Lives Matter.
After about five minutes, defense attorney Earl Gray began questioning potential juror No. 2. The potential juror says he’s never served as a juror before. He noted he did see some video of Wright’s death in April but believes he could be an impartial juror.
After another five minutes, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank begins questioning potential juror No. 2. The potential juror said he’s against defunding the police and supports the good work police officers do. He also noted he works as an editor in the field of neurology.
After another five minutes, Chu informs the potential juror that he will serve on the jury for the case and explains that the court will have additional instructions and information for him.
Judge Chu introduced members of the jury panel to the attorneys for each side and Potter. She then went over the logistics of jury selection.
Chu told jurors she expects the trial will be completed by Christmas Eve but if not, the court will take off until Dec. 27 so jurors don’t have to worry about missing Christmas with their families.
Kim Potter Trial | Judge Regina Chu is first going over logistics of jury selection to the potential jurors.— Andrea Lyon ?? (@andrealyonnews) November 30, 2021
She explains there will be two parts to the jury selection, group questions and follow-up questions during an individual section.
Chu apologizes for possible delays.
Chu said she hoped to get through seven potential jurors in the morning and another seven in the afternoon session.
Jury selection began shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who’s charged in the death of Daunte Wright.
Potter faces first-degree and second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s April 11 death.
Jury selection is expected to take up to a week, with opening statements in the trial set for Dec. 8.
Potential jurors aren’t being shown on camera or referred to by name due to Chu’s order.
During the jury selection process, the defense will be able to strike up to five potential jurors from serving on the case while the state will be able to strike up to three potential jurors.
This story will continue to be updated throughout the day as jury selection proceeds.