Minnesota Braces For Another Tense Fatality-By-Police Trial.
In April of 2019 Minneapolis Police Department officer, Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Justine Diamond. Historically, he was the first Minnesota officer to be convicted of murder. Tragically, there would be another police officer murder-related conviction only two years later. In April of 2020, officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Will Officer Kimberly Potter become only the third Minnesota officer in history to be convicted in the death of a civilian?
Now just over two years after the first officer's murder conviction, Kimberly Potter's trial has begun. Potter is charged with first-degree manslaughter, along with second-degree manslaughter. There are no murder charges, and it's unusual to have both second and first-degree manslaughter charges being presented.
The officer thought she was firing her taser, she had actually grabbed her gun instead.
Jury selection is underway in the case of the death of Daunte Wright. In April of 2021, officer Potter, then a member of the Bookly Center police force, along with officer-in-training Anthony Luckey, had pulled over Daunte Wright in a traffic stop brought on by an air freshener that was hanging from his rearview mirror. He also had expired tabs. Upon running Wright's information it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant for a weapons violation. So the officers proceeded to arrest Wright. This from MPR News
Wright obeyed Luckey’s order to get out, but as Luckey was handcuffing him, Wright pulled away and got back in. As Luckey held onto Wright, Potter said “I’ll tase ya.” Potter's body camera video then shows her holding her handgun in her right hand and pointing it at Wright. Potter repeated “I’ll tase you,” and then two seconds later said “Taser, Taser, Taser.” One second later, she fired a single bullet into Wright’s chest.
As both charges against Potter are for manslaughter, the prosecution is not required to show that she intended to kill Duante. The first-degree charge alleges "reckless use of a firearm", while the second-degree charge alleges "culpable negligence". In today's juror seating it was interesting to read that one of the jurors selected is a female that owns both a handgun and a stun gun.
As the Twin Cities once again brace for the possibilities of more explosive protests, two more police-involved shootings occurred just days before the trial began.
FOX 9 reports: “A man has died after being shot by police officers Sunday night at a Mounds View, Minnesota liquor store. According to a release from Mounds View Police Chief Nate Harder, the man was shot after reports of shots fired and an armed robbery along the 2500 block of County Road I in Mounds View. … The man was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center where he later died. …The shooting marked the second time in a matter of hours that officer fired shots during emergency responses in the Twin Cities. In the first incident, Forest Lake police officers fired shots at a man, who they say had a weapon, during a police chase.”
Another death, perhaps this time warranted as the incident is being reported as an "armed robbery".
Credit to those that continue to dream of becoming police officers, to serve and protect continues to be more and more of a challenge.
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