The jury selection process is moving relatively quickly in the trial of Kim Potter, a former suburban Minneapolis police officer who authorities say shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright earlier this year when she said she mistook her gun for her taser.
Five jurors were seated during the second day of the trial on Wednesday, bringing the total to nine of 14 jurors who will eventually hear the case. Two jurors will serve as alternates.
Potter, who was a 26-year veteran police officer, allegedly shot and killed Wright on April 11 in Brooklyn Center, only about 10 miles away from where former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was on trial for the murder of George Floyd.
By comparison, the jury selection process in Chauvin’s trial took more than two weeks.
Daunte Wright, left, was killed in an April traffic stop. Kim Potter, right, is charged with manslaughter in his killing. (Facebook/Hennepin County Sheriff)
Potter originally pulled over Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, because he had expired tags then attempted to arrest him for a warrant on a weapons violation.
Wright initially obeyed orders but tried to get back into his car as he was being handcuffed, prompting Potter to threaten to tase him twice, body camera footage shows.
“Taser Taser Taser,” Potter said just before firing a single shot from her handgun into Wright’s chest.
“S—! I just shot him,” Potter said. “I grabbed the wrong f—— gun.”
The family of Daunte Wright, led by his mother Katie, second from left, a clergy member, front center, and son Damik, at left with red cap, arrive Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at the Government Center in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
One of the jurors seated Wednesday is a woman who owns a stun gun but has never used it, and said police officers shouldn’t be second-guessed.
“This is a servitude job, and when you get into this position, you need to understand that it’s a tough job and so you have to maintain that level of professionalism when you get into that position,” the juror told attorneys.
Another juror seated Wednesday said she disagrees with the idea of defunding the police, while another said he had “somewhat negative” views of both Potter and Wright.
The prosecution has used all three peremptory strikes that they were allotted at the beginning of jury selection. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank used one strike Wednesday on a woman who said she has a very unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter, and another strike on a man who said he doesn’t believe police treat White and Black people differently.
The defense used a peremptory strike Wednesday on a man who indicated he has a somewhat negative view of Potter.
In this courtroom sketch, former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter makes her first court appearance, over Zoom, in the traffic-stop shooting death of Black motorist Daunte Wright. (Cedric Hohnstadt via AP)
Kim Potter will testify at the trial, one of her defense attorneys said Tuesday.
Potter, who resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department two days after the shooting, is facing charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter.
Six days were set aside for jury selection. Opening statements start Dec. 8.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.