The jury in Kim Potter’s manslaughter trial for the death of Daunte Wright has reached the fourth day of deliberations.
The jury in Kim Potter’s trial for the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Black man in April has been deliberating for approximately 24 hours, with the judge issuing a note midway through the process asking what they should do if they can’t reach a judgement.
During jury selection earlier this month, Judge Regina Chu informed potential jurors that if the processes were not completed by Christmas Eve, they would begin on Monday, December 27. The jury has been summoned.
According to court authorities, jurors started deliberations at 8:25 a.m. CT Wednesday, following just over nine hours of debate Tuesday and more than five hours the day before.
Joey Jackson, a CNN legal expert and defence lawyer, highlighted the idea of jury nullification. In such circumstances, jurors willfully reject evidence or refuse to apply the law because it goes against their views or sense of justice.
“What I see as the difficulty is that you have some jurors who are saying, ‘Look, she should have known better.’ This was reckless or, at the the least, negligent,’ while other jurors are saying, ‘You know what, I simply don’t know.’ I believe she was really disturbed about what had occurred. She was really sorry for what had transpired. ‘Let’s give her a break.’ “On Wednesday night, Jackson told CNN.
“I believe the jury may be counting on it to further explain her behaviour, and I believe that is what the sides are fighting over: accountability or no accountability. Do we let her off the hook?”
“If the jury cannot achieve unanimity, what is the direction regarding how long and what actions should be taken?” one of two jury questions on Tuesday suggested jurors could be having problems reaching a judgement.
Chu returned them to the jury chamber after reviewing a previous admonition that they “consider with a view to obtaining consensus if possible without breaching your own judgement.”
The jurors also requested that the zip ties that were holding the firearm to an evidence box be removed so that the revolver may be touched during deliberations.
Chu permitted the zip ties to be undone so jurors could handle the pistol, which she said was not loaded and was properly stored.
Potter, 49, has pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree manslaughter charges.
The trial originates from Wright’s death in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, when police pulled him over for an expired tag and an unlawful air freshener. Officers discovered he had an outstanding warrant during the stop and sought to arrest him, but Wright drove away and attempted to drive away.
Potter exclaimed “Taser” repeatedly before shooting Wright with her revolver, according to footage of the event. She went on to say, “Oh my God! I just killed him!” “I grabbed the incorrect f**king pistol, and I shot him,” she claimed. She left the department a few days later.
The issue revolves around the jury’s interpretation of Kim Potter’s deadly error, whether it was caused by her carelessness and negligence, as the prosecution argues, or if it was an unfortunate accident that did not rise to the level of a crime, as the defence has maintained.
During the trial’s eight days of testimony, more than 30 witnesses, including Kim Potter’s herself, took the stand. Potter testified for hours, breaking down in tears many times as she recalled the “chaotic” events leading up to the shooting.
“I was devastated. I just shot a person. I’m sorry this happened to you “In court, she cried out. “I’m very sorry.”
During cross-examination, Potter stated that Wright did not intimidate the cops before firing. She admitted she didn’t recall much of what transpired following the incident, but she did admit she didn’t assist treat Wright’s injuries or check on her coworkers.
Kim Potter’s was anything but a renegade officer. She stated that she had never used her Taser or discharged a firearm while on duty before that day, and she had never had a complaint filed against her.
In her closing statement, Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldridge stated that Potter made a sequence of poor decisions during the traffic encounter that resulted in the deadly mix-up.
“Accidents can nevertheless constitute crimes if they happen as a result of recklessness or criminal carelessness,” the prosecutor stated. “It is not a defence to the charges.”
The defence has described the killing as a tragic accident that should not be classified as a crime.
“Everyone makes errors; no one is flawless,” attorney Earl Gray remarked. “This lady committed an error, and an error is not a crime.”
He also claimed Potter was justified in using lethal force to defend a fellow officer who was reaching into the vehicle when Wright attempted to flee.
“Even if she didn’t realise she was doing it, she had the right to, and that’s what the law says,” he explained.