Nine White Jurors Picked for Trial of Ex-Cop Charged in Daunte Wright's Death

The jury in the trial of Kim Potter, a white former police officer who is charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a Black man, is mostly set, with nine whites jurors selected, the Associated Press reported.

Two alternates still need to be chosen ahead of opening statements, which are scheduled for Wednesday, though Judge Regina Chu said they could be moved up.

Of the 12 jurors, one is Black, two are Asian and the rest are white. There is an equal number of men and women.

Potter, 49, who is white, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Wright, 20, was pulled over for expired license plate tags. Officers discovered there was a warrant for his arrest and, as they tried to arrest Wright, he went back into his car. Potter allegedly shouted "Taser, Taser, Taser" before firing her gun.

Potter's body camera recorded the entire incident. She maintains that she meant to use her Taser and pulled her gun by mistake.

According to AP, the jurors include an IT worker who once wanted to be a police officer, a former elections judge and a Navy veteran. Chu ordered that the jury remain anonymous.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Regina Chu, Judge
A former police officer, Kim Potter, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright. Above, in a screen grab from video, Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu presides over jury selection on December 2, 2021, in Potter's trial at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Court TV, via AP, Pool

The IT worker participated in a police explorer program in high school but changed his mind about becoming a police officer because he was afraid he "would end up having to use my gun."

He said he had a somewhat negative impression of Potter and that she should have had enough "muscle memory" to know which side of her body her Taser was on.

Also chosen was a mother of two who used to work as an IT project manager and has worked as an elections judge. She said on her questionnaire that Wright shouldn't have died for something such as expired license plate tags. But she said she could reach a verdict based on what she hears in court.

The last of the 12 is a Navy veteran and former Boy Scout leader who said he competes in medieval steel combat in his spare time. He said he had been stunned as part of his Navy training decades ago but that technology on Tasers has changed so much that he would have no problem setting aside his experience and reaching a verdict based on the evidence.

He said he saw a short video clip of the shooting only once and thought the situation was stressful because it looked like a lot of things were happening at once.

The defense on Thursday used one of its peremptory challenges to dismiss a first-year law student who has made comments on social media about cases in which police officers have been convicted. Such challenges cannot be made solely because of a person's race, ethnicity or gender, and prosecutor Matthew Frank objected to the dismissal of the law student, an Asian woman.

Chu dismissed Frank's objection, ruling there was no evidence that the defense strike was based on race or gender.

One of the jurors seated the first day was recalled for questioning Thursday after Chu said he had expressed concerns that his identity was revealed when he was first questioned. The man remained on the jury after he told Chu he was willing to continue serving.

Attorneys and the judge have probed potential jurors for what they knew about Wright's death and about their views of protests against police brutality that were frequent in Minneapolis even before George Floyd's death.

Potter, who resigned two days after she shot and killed Wright, has told the court she will testify. Body-camera video recorded the shooting, with Potter heard saying, "Taser, Taser, Taser" before she fired, followed by, "I grabbed the wrong [expletive] gun."

Wright was shot as former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was standing trial 10 miles (16 kilometers) away for Floyd's death. Wright's death sparked several nights of intense protests in the suburb.

The most serious charge against Potter requires prosecutors to prove recklessness; the lesser requires them to prove culpable negligence. Minnesota's sentencing guidelines call for just over seven years on the first-degree manslaughter count and four years on the second-degree one. Prosecutors have said they would seek a longer sentence.

Daunte Wright, family
Daunte Wright was shot and killed during a traffic stop on April 11, 2021. Former Police Officer Kim Potter is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter. Above, Aubrey Wright (left) and Katie Wright gather at a memorial for their son on May 2 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images