Jurors weighing the fate of the former Minnesota cop who killed Daunte Wright signaled that they might be at an impasse after deliberating for 13 hours.
The jury asked Judge Regina Chu what they should do if they couldn’t reach a verdict after considering the case Monday and all day Tuesday.
“If a jury cannot reach consensus, what is the guidance around how long and what steps should be taken?,” it inquired, according to Chu, who read the question aloud for the court.
The judge told the panel to resume deliberations, and the jury obliged for about 90 more minutes before leaving the courthouse after 6 p.m.
“You should not hesitate to re-examine your views and change your opinion if you become convinced they are erroneous, but you should not surrender your honest opinion simply because other jurors disagree, or merely to reach a verdict,” Chu said, reciting the jury’s initial instructions.
Potter, 49, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the April 11 shooting death of Wright, 20. The veteran white former Brooklyn Center officer testified that she thought she had fired her Taser at the combative black suspect, who had a warrant out for weapons possession. Instead, she fired her gun.
The shooting happened just north of Minneapolis — while police officer Derek Chauvin was facing trial for George Floyd’s murder — and set off multiple nights of volatile protests.
The difference between the gun and Taser’s weight, feel, size and color was emphasized by prosecutors during the trial, and Chu granted the jury’s request to handle the deadly weapon — overruling an objection from defense attorneys who said the evidence should remain boxed “for safety purposes.”
The mostly white jury had been instructed that it doesn’t have to prove Potter tried to kill Wright, only that she recklessly fired her gun. Panelists were sequestered under court supervision in an undisclosed hotel during deliberations and ordered not to return home until they reached a verdict or declared a mistrial.
Potter, who broke down in tears on the stand and apologized for the killing Friday, faces 11 years behind bars if convicted.
With AP wires