A predominately white jury was seated on Friday (Dec. 3) for the trial of Kim Potter, the white former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Black 20-year-old Daunte Wright this April. Potter is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter for firing her gun at Wright during a traffic stop, which she says she accidentally grabbed instead of her taser.
According to NBC News; nine of the 12 jurors are white, two are Asian and one member is Black. The outlet notes that the jury is also evenly split between men and women.
One juror, NBC writes, is an I.T. worker who said he once aspired to be a police officer. However, he ultimately changed his mind about the career path, saying he was afraid he “would end up having to use my gun.”
The juror also reportedly said he had a somewhat negative impression of Potter and claimed the 26-year police veteran should have had enough “muscle memory” to know where her taser was opposed to her gun.
Another juror, a mother of two, previously worked as an I.T. project manager and elections judge. On a questionnaire, she wrote that Wright shouldn’t have died for having expired license plate tags, which is one of the reasons he was pulled over. However, she added that she would reach a verdict based on what she hears throughout the trial.
A third juror, a Navy veteran, said he had been stunned with a taser during his Navy training. However, he said taser technology has changed so much over the years that his experience being stunned won’t affect his decision.
He also said he saw a video of Wright’s shooting and thought the situation looked “stressful” because there was a lot going on at once.
Opening arguments for the trial are set to begin on Wednesday (Dec. 8). Potter has said she will testify in her own defense.
The former cop’s first-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and the second-degree charge carries a maximum of 10 years. Prosecutors have said they will ask for a longer sentence if she’s convicted.
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