MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The jurors have reached a “trial outcome” in the trial of Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright and was charged with manslaughter. She has said she meant to use her Taser instead of her handgun.
The outcome will be read sometime between 1:30 and 2 p.m. Thursday.
The jury had deliberated for at least 24 hours Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Late Tuesday, they asked Judge Regina Chu what they should do if they could not arrive at a verdict. Speaking with the jurors, Chu told them they needed to continue with deliberations with open minds and a willingness to listen to each other’s viewpoints.
The jurors also asked Chu if they could have the zip ties removed from Potter’s gun to better gauge its weight in their hands. Their wish was granted.
Closing arguments from both sides began Monday morning. Proceedings started with the state giving their side. Their main goal was to prove to the jury that Kim Potter’s actions on April 11 were reckless and negligent, and that she deserves to be held accountable to some degree.
Prosecutor Erin Eldridge opened up by tapping into the jury’s emotion by saying Potter’s two sons will be home for Christmas this weekend. Wright will not be.
Then she drove home the argument that Potter caused this death by acting reckless.
“This was no oopsie, this not putting the wrong date on a check, this was not entering the wrong password, this was a colossal screw-up, a blunder of epic proportions, it was precisely the thing she was warned about for years, it was irreversible and it was fatal,” Eldridge said.
The prosecution also walked the jury through Potter’s camera footage, frame by frame, trying to prove that Potter could not see her partner on the other side of Wright’s car, and therefore wouldn’t know whether or not he was in danger. The prosecution also argued that Potter placed her two police partners in danger by shooting into the vehicle.
Then the defense began their closing arguments. Potter’s attorney Earl Gray painted the picture of a chaotic situation, a struggle, where every decision happened in a matter of seconds.
The defense argued that chaotic struggle was caused by Wright.
“I could stop right here. Because if you presume, which you have to do, if you presume that she did not cause the death, which you have to have the presumption of innocence, did they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she caused this death? No. Daunte Wright caused his own death, unfortunately. Those are the cold hard facts of the evidence,” Gray said.
The defense also argued that Minnesota law states that a person must be conscience of their recklessness, and Potter was not conscience she was holding a gun, therefore didn’t know she was being reckless.
The prosecution then took their opportunity for a rebuttal.
The jury was to be sequestered for deliberation until a verdict was reached.
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