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Juror in Kim Potter trial speaks about how jury found ex-officer guilty in Daunte Wright's death

Potter, a 26-year police veteran, was convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter last week by a Minnesota jury.
Kim Potter stands with defense attorney Earl Gray, as the verdict is read, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Dec. 23, 2021.
Kim Potter with defense attorney Earl Gray as the verdict is read Dec. 23 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Court TV via AP Pool / AP

A Minneapolis juror is speaking out about the trial of former police officer Kim Potter and how the jury ultimately found her guilty in the death of Daunte Wright.

Potter, a 26-year police veteran, was convicted Dec. 23 by a Hennepin County jury of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting Wright on April 11 as he tried to get back into his car during an arrest.

Potter, who was with the Brooklyn Center Police Department at the time of the shooting, has said she accidentally killed Wright when she grabbed her gun instead of her Taser.

“Initially for both counts we were predominantly 'guilty,'" the unidentified juror told NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis.

The juror asked to remain anonymous because of the amount of public animosity, the TV station reported.

"For Count 1, it was seven for guilty, and the remainders were either 'not guilty' or didn’t know. Then, for Count 2, eight said guilty, two said not guilty and two didn’t know," the juror said.

The juror said that the jury believed Potter was guilty on both counts immediately after closing arguments but that they started to doubt their decision when some jurors urged a deeper look deeper at the law.

"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,'" the juror said.

"And at that point we were just arguing semantics and kind of in circles. ... Those last couple days were literally just focusing in on the language of the law," the juror said.

The juror also talked about how Potter seemed "very upset and apologetic" when she took the stand but said her experience as a police officer came into play.

"I don’t want to speak for all the jurors, but I think we believed she was a good person and even believed that she was a good cop," the juror said. "No one felt she was intentional in this. ... We felt like she was a good person, we felt she made a mistake, and that a mistake does not absolve you from the fact she did commit a crime."

A big turning point for the jury was when it had the opportunity to hold Potter's gun and her Taser to feel the differences between them. KARE reported that the gun is about twice as heavy as a Taser and that it is unholstered and fired differently from a 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.

The jury — one Black person, two Asian American people and nine white people — deliberated for more than 27 hours before it arrived at both verdicts. It convicted Potter of the lesser charge on the morning of Dec. 21 and convicted her of the more serious charge on Dec. 23, according to the jurors' verdict form.

Potter faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when she is sentenced on Feb. 18.