Who Is Judge Regina Chu in the Kim Potter Trial?
Here are the key people who are part of the trial over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.,
Who is Judge Regina Chu and who are the other key players in the Kimberly Potter trial?
Dec. 8, 2021, 12:04 p.m. ET
Judge Regina Chu instructs the jury before opening statements today.Credit…Court TV via Associated Press
The trial of Kimberly Potter, the former police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, is being streamed live on television and online.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, few people will be allowed in the courtroom except the defendant, the jury, the judge and other court staff, and lawyers for the prosecution and the defense. Three seats each will also be reserved for relatives of Mr. Wright and Ms. Potter. Two seats will be reserved for a rotating pool of journalists.
Here are the key people who are part of the trial.
Judge Regina Chu has been a judge in Hennepin County for nearly two decades after being appointed in 2002 by Jesse Ventura, Minnesota’s governor at the time. She had previously worked in a private law practice and, in the 1980s, for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
Judge Chu earned her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., which is now known as the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
Kimberly Potter, 49, had been an officer with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years until she resigned days after Mr. Wright’s death in April. She told the judge during jury selection that she intended to take the stand in her own defense during the trial.
She is facing two felony charges, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter, and would probably spend several years in prison if she is convicted on either count.
The jury is made up of 12 primary jurors, as well as two alternates.
The jurors were chosen over several days through a process in which prosecutors and Ms. Potter’s lawyers were able to interview prospective jurors. The identities of the jurors will not be publicly disclosed until after the trial.
Among the 12 primary jurors, six are men and six are women, and they range in age from their 20s to their 60s. Nine of the 12 jurors are white, two are Asian and one is Black. Hennepin County, from where the jurors were drawn, is roughly 68 percent white, 14 percent Black, 8 percent Asian and 7 percent Latino.
Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank listens to jury instructions on Monday.Credit…Court TV via Associated Press
Matthew Frank, an assistant attorney general for Minnesota, is leading the prosecution. He prosecutes criminal cases for the office, which is run by Attorney General Keith Ellison. The attorney general’s office took on the case in May at the request of the Hennepin County district attorney.
Erin Eldridge, an assistant attorney general, works in the office’s criminal division. She was in the courtroom throughout jury selection and, like Mr. Frank, was involved in the prosecution of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted in April of murdering George Floyd.
Earl Gray on Dec. 3, 2021.Credit…Court TV via Associated Press
Representing Ms. Potter are Earl Gray, Paul Engh and Amanda Montgomery. Mr. Gray and Mr. Engh are part of the legal defense fund of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, a group that represents thousands of law enforcement officers in the state, and Ms. Montgomery works at Mr. Gray’s law firm.
Mr. Gray also is the lawyer for Thomas Lane, one of the three other officers charged in Mr. Floyd’s death. Mr. Lane is scheduled to go on trial with the other officers in March on charges that he aided and abetted second-degree murder and aided and abetted second-degree manslaughter in Mr. Floyd’s death.