A week ago from today, former Minnesota officer Kim Potter was convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright on April 11th. The jury deliberated over the decision for about 27 hours over four days. According to Newsweek, the decision wasn’t easy. However, we now have some insight into how the verdict went down as a juror agreed to talk about the process.
“We did an initial vote, then we did temperature checks throughout,” the juror said. “Initially for both counts we were predominantly ‘guilty.’”
“The day that we asked the judge what would happen if we can’t reach a decision, we were evenly split on Manslaughter 1 at four guilty, four not guilty and four ‘I have no idea,’” he added. “And at that point, we were just arguing semantics and kind of in circles.”
Speaking extensively to KARE 11, the juror noted that a critical turning point in the trial was when the jury handled Potter’s gun and her taser. “The taser kind of feels like a mouse click whereas the trigger has some trigger draw weight. That was a key turning point,” the juror said.
Reading up on how this verdict came to be, I learned that the jury ultimately looked at the consequences in front of them and acted accordingly. As the juror spoke more about their own thought process, they noted that while this could be deemed accidental, there had to be consequences.
“It’s hard to say. I hope for a lighter sentence. But when you factor in the vehicle that got hit and also the injury Daunte’s passenger sustained, I am of the belief that Kim Potter’s responsible for that harm as well and that should play into her sentence. It just hurts for me to say that because I do think this was a mistake. I also think that does not absolve you from responsibility for your actions.”
It was also mentioned that swipes made toward Daunte Wright’s character had no bearing on the jury’s decision. Do you believe that? If it’s true, it’s good to hear that this jury looked at the facts because character wasn’t the reason that Daunte Wright was killed. The bodycam footage is out there for everybody to see.
The juror emphasized that the jury didn’t base their decision on past crimes of other Minnesota police officers and said those suggestions “cheapens the verdict and the seriousness” of the trial.
“This was strictly about Daunte Wright, Kim Potter and the law,” the juror said. “I think you couldn’t have asked for a better group of jury members—the fact we didn’t concern ourselves with those big picture things really speaks volumes to me and tells me we did a good job. I really think we made the right decision.”
The juror said that while there had been accusations made about Wright being “not a good person,” those claims didn’t impact the jury or change his “opinion on the tragic loss of life that happened.”