Selection Strategy: Defense Attorney Gives Perspective on Potter Trial Jurors
A third day of jury selection took place Thursday in the trial of Kim Potter. The former Brooklyn Center police officer is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April. A criminal defense attorney based in Rogers gave perspective to CCX News, offering insights on both the prosecution and the defense.
“I’ve been a little bit surprised at some of the defense strategy,” said Matthew Holson, a criminal defense attorney with Martin and Wagner in Rogers, referring to the defense acknowledging during jury selection that Potter will testify.
Holson says while this is not uncommon, defense attorneys don’t usually show their hands this early in the trial process.
“I generally would not make a decision whether or not the person I’m representing is going to testify before seeing what evidence the state is going to present,” he said.
As for jury selection, Holson says the prosecution is looking for jurors who will not blindly accept what Potter did.
“They want folks who are going to listen to the testimony, ask themselves was this a reasonable mistake or not, and if it wasn’t a reasonable mistake, they’re looking for people that are going to be ultimately willing to say she’s guilty of the charges,” he explained.
On the other side, Holson says Potter’s attorneys want to seat people who favor law enforcement.
“The defense is looking for people that are generally sort of pro-law enforcement that maybe have been disturbed by some of the civil unrest that occurred after the George Floyd murder,” said Holson.
The jury is primarily white (eight of the 11 jurors selected as of Thursday afternoon). Holson says the demographics are not favorable for the state. He says prosecutors would prefer a more diverse panel.
“I think white folks generally don’t have the same negative experience with law enforcement that people of color do, and so, white folks are going to be more likely to defer to what officer Potter did here,” he explained.