4 jurors seated on first day of Kim Potter trial
(ABC 6 News) – Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of State vs Kim Potter.
Live coverage provided by KSTP.
At 3:45 p.m., potential juror No. 11 is questioned by Chu. She says someone she knew died in a stabbing but it wouldn’t affect her ability to be impartial.
After 10 minutes, Gray takes over questioning. She says she’s a rule-follower. She also says her brother just finished his term in the Marines.
About five minutes later, Frank questions potential juror No. 11 about being affected by the demonstrations over the past year. She says she works in Minneapolis and it’s been "questionable" in the area so she has not liked them. She also called them "scary" because they were near her home. She notes she believes police keep order but mistakes happen. She believes she could be impartial. Frank carefully questions her about her ability to be impartial and make a decision based solely on evidence in the trial and the law.
After nearly 20 minutes, Chu tells the potential juror that she’ll be part of the jury, making her the fourth juror seated for the case.
At 11:58 a.m., potential juror No. 7 enters and undergoes questioning by Chu. He says he saw the video after it was initially released but it’s not fresh in his head and he’s open to seeing different sides of it. Says he’s an operations manager that works overnights at Target, says he’s currently been up for nearly 24 hours but he’s talked about the possibility of serving on the jury with his bosses and has been told he could take leave, if selected. Says he’s been through firearm safety training in the past and used to own a Taser but no longer does. He says he’s had good experiences with police officers but believes having a badge shouldn’t disqualify someone from being held accountable either.
After about 10 minutes, Gray starts questioning potential juror No. 7. He clarifies that he spent his 20s touring with a rock band so he had a stun gun during that time but no longer has it. His firearm safety class was when he was 14. He says some of the past court cases or incidents he’s seen involving police have made his slightly distrustful of police officers but he values and appreciates law enforcement. He adds that he could set aside any distrust and go into the case with an open mind.
After 15 minutes, Frank starts questioning potential juror No. 7. He says he does have some family members in law enforcement but they aren’t as close as he’d like.
Chu then tells him that he will serve on the jury for this case and will receive more information at a later time.
Chu also puts the court in recess for a lunch break. Jury selection will continue at 1:30 p.m.
The court session resumes at 11:14 a.m. and the questioning of potential juror No. 6 begins. Chu asks a few questions and the potential juror says she believes there’s evidence on both sides and she could be impartial. She adds she’s never served on a jury before but says she believes the justice system works, although juries aren’t always balanced or equitable. She adds that one of her daughters died on New Year’s Day nearly two years ago and she’s been treated for anxiety and depression in the past. She says she thinks she could focus during the trial but may be emotional. She’s also a retired teacher.
After about 10 minutes, Engh starts questioning potential juror No. 6. She says her first reaction was "how could this happen?" and she still feels that. Engh says if potential juror No. 6 serves on the jury, she will hear testimony directly from Potter about that. Potential juror No. 6 says law enforcement officers have dangerous jobs but she believes they should be able to handle themselves. She adds that she’s very anti-gun, never owned a gun and believes laws about what kind of guns people can buy should be looked at. She says she watches a lot of true crime programs and is interested in them.
After nearly 15 minutes, Frank starts questioning potential juror No. 6. She says her brother was in the Marines and her father was in the Army. She views peaceful protests as fine but says violence isn’t acceptable. On Blue Lives Matter, she says they matter like everybody else, notes sometimes police officers also make bad decisions.
Chu then informs her that she’s been chosen to serve on the jury and will be provided more information at a later time.
At 9:40 a.m., all potential jurors except potential juror No. 2 leave the court and questioning of potential juror No. 2 begins. Chu asked the potential juror the first question about why he believes Blue Lives Matter is unfavorable, to which he replied that he believes it’s a counter cry to Black Lives Matter.
After about five minutes, defense attorney Earl Gray began questioning potential juror No. 2. The potential juror says he’s never served as a juror before. He noted he did see some video of Wright’s death in April but believes he could be an impartial juror.
After another five minutes, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank begins questioning potential juror No. 2. The potential juror said he’s against defunding the police and supports the good work police officers do. He also noted he works as an editor in the field of neurology.
After another five minutes, Chu informs the potential juror that he will serve on the jury for the case and explains that the court will have additional instructions and information for him.