By: Alyssa Wilson
Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter is seeking to block cameras at her upcoming trial.
Potter shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. She alleges she meant to grab and use her taser, but instead, she grabbed her gun, shooting Wright in the chest.
The shooting happened in Minnesota, about 13 miles from where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. It took place in April when the city and nation were already on edge during Chauvin’s trial.
Potter was later arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter. According to KSTP, Potter’s lawyers are asking that cameras be barred from the courtroom, alleging it would lead to an unfair trial. “Officer Potter alone has due process protections, not the Wright family, not the press,” her defense attorney Paul Engh said in the court filing.
State prosecutors are relying on the precedent set by Judge Peter Cahill in the Chauvin trial that allowed a televised trial. That trial was the first time cameras were allowed in a Minnesota criminal trial. After Cahill’s decision in the Chauvin case, Minnesota Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea called for a committee to examine the state’s policy on the matter.
Potter’s defense team also said allowing cameras in the courtroom could threaten her safety, citing a use-of-force expert who testified in the Chauvin trial and whose home was vandalized.
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