OK, let’s put the Christmas spirit back in the box and talk about current events. I’m interested in your thoughts on the conviction of former-Officer Kim Potter in Minnesota, found guilty of Manslaughter in both the First and Second Degree last week in the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. This was the case in which the cop mistook her Glock for her TASER and unintentionally fired a fatal shot into a young man trying to flee from arrest on outstanding warrants.
Distinguished law professor Alan Dershowitz thinks the verdict was a travesty.
I tend to agree with him.
I do think the defense dropped the ball more than once. Speaking from the courtroom side of my day job, I thought the defense did well cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, and had by far the better experts – particularly Steve Ijames, one of the most respected experts in law enforcement use of force today. However, I am sure Ms. Potter wishes she could get a do-over of her own time on the witness stand…and the defense summation? Legal commentators unanimously panned the close by defense attorney Earl Grey. I watched it livestream as it happened and found it scattered, unorganized, and weak with occasional WTF moments. I guess you could say Earl Grey was not my cup of tea.
The verdict strikes me as self-contradictory: if they found her culpable one or the other of the two degrees of Manslaughter could be appropriate, but not both. Since neither side argued that she intentionally shot him, it seems to me that the First Degree conviction should be thrown out. I believe Judge Chu still has the option to do that, and I hope she takes it.
It was a cross-racial shooting, and now more than ever that seems to blur rational analysis of the facts. Looking at commentary elsewhere, I am appalled at the degree of racism – from both sides of the divide – expressed by some. I am confident that won’t happen here. In fact, as the moderator here, I’m certain of it, hint hint.
That said, readers, I invite your commentary on this tragic case and its present outcome.