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The shadow of George Floyd, the Derek Chauvin case hangs in the Kim Potter trial

It’s former cop Kim Potter on trial for the murder of Daunte Wright, but the trial in the same courtroom earlier this year against former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is casting a shadow over the prosecution. chant. , there is little mention of Chauvin or Floyd, whose death has sparked outrage over police brutality in the US. Courts have sometimes been adamant not to bring that up. From the presence of the same number of prosecutors who tried Chauvin to potential jurors asked about their fear of delivering an unpopular verdict. repeatedly watched videos of the white officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a Black man, and where Chauvin was later sentenced to 22 and a half years by Judge Peter Cahill. The video will also appear during the Potter manslaughter trial. The jury will see footage showing the white police officer shouting “Taser, Taser, Taser” as she aims her 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol at Wright, a Black man, as he he tried to drive away from a traffic stop on April 11, then fatally shot him in the chest before exclaiming, “I got the wrong gun (at full strength).” Her lawyers say Wright’s death was an innocent mistake, not a crime. test was clear. The jury team received nearly the same questionnaires used for Chauvin’s trial, with only minor tweaks in place to match the circumstances of the Potter case. It does not mention Chauvin or Floyd’s name. Members were asked if they agreed with the “beat the police” movement that gained momentum after Floyd’s death. They were asked whether they trusted the police – and whether it was correct to infer an officer’s actions under pressure. They were also asked if they had been affected by the damaging protests. Prosecutors and defense counsel screened their answers carefully and probed further in court. Those with moderate views were more likely to be seated, as one man said he opposed cutting police funding but also said: “I absolutely believe change is needed.” blow back if they acquit Potter. The only black person on the jury, a woman in her 30s, said “I don’t have to worry.” in our city” and it made her sad. She said she didn’t like the negative attention it brought to Minneapolis, but said the positive results of the protests were problems. Minnesota that’s partly a concession to the high public interest and partly due to pandemic considerations.The courtroom has strategically placed transparent plastic partitions. Watchers will see some identical faces to those who successfully prosecuted Chauvin: Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank and Erin Eldridge sit at the prosecution table, with their boss Keith Ellison frequent was in the Courtroom Security was beefed up for the trial, with some entrances to the court closed, but the tall chain link fences, razor wire and concrete barriers for Chauvin were gone, as well as National Guard soldiers and armored vehicles patrolling the area this spring, and the building is open to the public.

It’s former cop Kim Potter on trial for the murder of Daunte Wright, but the trial in the same courtroom earlier this year against former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is casting a shadow over the prosecution. chant.

In last week’s jury selection, there was little mention of Chauvin or Floyd, whose deaths have sparked outrage at police brutality in the US. Courts have sometimes been adamant not to bring that up.

But with the opening statement set for Wednesday, reminders of the previous case were everywhere, from the presence of some of the prosecutors who tried Chauvin to potential jurors questioned. about their fear of delivering an unpopular verdict.

Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu is using the same 18th-floor courtroom where Chauvin was found guilty of murder by a jury in April. Judge Peter Cahill was 22 and a half years old.

The video will also appear during the Potter manslaughter trial. The jury will see footage showing the white police officer shouting “Taser, Taser, Taser” as she aims her 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol at Wright, a Black man, as he he tried to drive away from a traffic stop on April 11, then shot a fatal bullet in his chest before exclaiming, “I got a gun wrong (at full strength).”

Her lawyers say Wright’s death was an innocent mistake, not a crime.

Although Floyd’s death is rarely mentioned directly in the jury’s selection process, the impact of his case on the trial is clear. The jury team received nearly the same questionnaires used for Chauvin’s trial, with only minor tweaks in place to match the circumstances of the Potter case. It does not mention Chauvin or Floyd by name.

The jurors were asked if they agreed with the “beat the police” movement that had been created after Floyd’s death. They were asked whether they trusted the police – and whether it was correct to infer an officer’s actions under pressure. They were also asked if they had been affected by the damaging protests.

Prosecutors and defense counsel screened their answers carefully and probed further in court. Those with moderate views were more likely to be seated, like one man who said he opposes cuts to police funding but also said: “I absolutely believe change is needed. “

Several potential jurors were asked by the defense if they had any concerns about blowback if they acquit Potter. The only black person on the jury, a woman in her 30s, said it was “not a concern for me.”

One of the few direct mentions of Floyd came from a woman, who said his case “caused a lot of trauma to our city” and it upset her. She said she didn’t like the negative attention it brought to Minneapolis, but said the positive outcomes of the protests were important issues being discussed.

She has replaced the jury.

As with Chauvin, the Potter trial is being streamed live, a rarity in Minnesota, partly a concession to the high public interest and partly due to pandemic considerations. The courtroom features strategically placed clear plastic partitions.

Watchers will see some identical faces to those who successfully prosecuted Chauvin: Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank and Erin Eldridge sat at the prosecution table, with their boss Keith Ellison regularly present. in the courtroom.

Security was increased for the trial, with some entrances to the court closed. But the tall chain link fences, razor wire and concrete barriers for Chauvin are gone, as are National Guard soldiers and armored vehicles patrolling the area this spring. And the building is open to the public.

https://www.kcra.com/article/kim-potter-daunte-wright-trial-vs-george-floyd-derek-chauvin-case/38454648 The shadow of George Floyd, the Derek Chauvin case hangs in the Kim Potter trial

JOE HERNANDEZ

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