HOT TOPICS: DECEMBER MIXES


PHOTO AP: THE MEMORIAL SITE FOR DAUNTE WRIGHT IN THE SNOW IN BROOKLYN CENTER, MN.

How could a gun be mistaken for a Taser? There have been at least 16 incidents of ‘weapon confusion’ since 2001

The trial marks the second time in Minnesota state history that proceedings in a criminal trial are being livestreamed. The first time was earlier this year for the Chauvin trial.

Activists called for Potter to face murder charges after the shooting. The first-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine. The second-degree charge has a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine.

Father Arbuey Wright (L) and mother Katie Wright (2L) give remarks alongside sister Diamond Wright (R) and Rev Al Sharpton during a funeral held for Daunte Wright at Shiloh Temple International Ministries on April 22, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11 which sparked days of protests. STEPHEN MATUREN, GETTY IMAGES

Former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter is charged with manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. |  Photo: Hennepin

Attorneys began sifting through potential jurors shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday in the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who says she meant to use her Taser instead of her gun when she killed Daunte Wright, a Black motorist. They quizzed potential jurors’ attitudes on policing, protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter is charged with manslaughter. Roughly 200 potential jurors were asked ahead of time to provide extensive information on what they knew about the case, and whether they had impressions about Potter and Wright.

Jury selection started Tuesday and is expected to last several days. Opening statements are scheduled for Dec. 8.

Fourteen people – 12 jurors and two alternates – are hearing evidence in the case. The jury, which will remain anonymous until the conclusion of the trial, includes six men and six women whose ages range from 20s to 60s. Nine are white, two are Asian and one is Black, according to how the jurors self-identified to the court. The alternates are a white woman in her 70s and a white man in his 30s.

About 68% of Hennepin County residents are non-Hispanic white, nearly 14% are Black, 7.5% are Asian, and 7% are Hispanic or Latino, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The jury, with nine white panelists, is 75% white.

PHOTO AP: Kim Potter crying in the court room as she testifies in the fatal shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter choked up on the witness stand and buried her face in her hands Friday as she recounted the moment she fatally shot Daunte Wright while yelling “Taser” in a traffic-stop-turned-arrest earlier this year. The veteran Brooklyn Center officer is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death during a traffic stop-turned-arrest in April. The incident happened just miles from the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, later convicted of murdering George Floyd, and spurred multiple days of protests and looting in the area. “We were struggling. We were trying to keep him from driving away. It just went chaotic,” Potter, dressed in a patterned shirt and yellow sweater, testified through tears as her husband, brother and mother sat in the courtroom. “And then, I remember yelling ‘Taser, Taser, Taser’ and nothing happened. And then (Wright) told me I shot him.”

PHOTO AP: Potter resigns from the BROOKLYN CENTER POLICE DEPT. IN MN.

The manslaughter charges do not require prosecutors to prove that Potter intended to kill Wright. Potter testified that, prior to the day she shot Wright, she never deployed her Taser or firearm while on duty but that she drew her Taser “maybe a few times.” She testified she received annual training on Tasers and was informed about the dangers of weapons confusion, though she said it was not “expounded on” in training.

Potter said she was overseeing a trainee officer when he decided to pull Wright’s vehicle over and she “most likely” would not have pulled the car over herself.

PHOTO AP: DAUNTE WRIGHTS MOTHER

When the officers discovered Wright had a warrant for arrest on a weapons violation and an order for protection against him, Potter said she became concerned there could be a weapon in the vehicle. Potter testified she was compelled by law to arrest Wright and to find out if the woman in the passenger seat had the order of protection.

Assistant Attorney General Erin EldridgeCredit

Prosecutors say Potter, 49, recklessly handled her firearm and caused Wright’s death by her “culpable negligence” – a conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, according to the complaint.

“This case is about the defendant, Kim Potter, betraying her oath, betraying her badge, and betraying her trust,” prosecutor Erin Eldridge said in her opening statement. “She had been trained year after year after year to prevent this kind of thing from happening, but she did it anyway.”

PHOTO AP: DR. LAURENCE MILLER, A PSYCHIATRIST TESTIFIES

‘I TRIED TO SCREAM HIS NAME’:Girlfriend recalls moment Kim Potter shot Daunte Wright

https://abc7chicago.com/video/embed/?pid=11317866

Witness testimony and evidence presented by the state revealed multiple officers who responded to the scene of the crash were responding to a “shots fired” call and were unaware Wright had been shot. One officer held Wright’s vehicle at gunpoint for nearly nine minutes before officers dragged Wright’s body out of the vehicle.

PHOTO AP: Chyna Whitaker, mother of Daunte Wright’s son, speaks during a news conference, in Minneapolis, on April 16, 2021.

“I just want my son to be taken care of,” she continued. “I just hope that everything works out in the end.”

The white officer who shot Wright, 20, Kim Potter, resigned Tuesday and was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Brooklyn Center police Chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned, told reporters he believed the officer meant to draw her Taser instead of her handgun.

Police body camera footage appeared to show Wright getting out of an SUV and then getting back in as officers tried to apprehend him.

Authorities said he was stopped for expired registration when officers noticed another violation: an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror.

The recording captured a woman’s voice shouting, “Taser!” before the 20-year-old was struck with a single round in his chest.

“Holy s— I just shot him,” the same female voice is heard saying.

“I never thought like in a million years that this would happen,” Chyna Whitaker said at the news conference. “Everything’s all really just hitting me now.”

Whitaker’s mother said she was upset for her grandson.

“I’m angry and I’m hurt that he will not have his dad,” Erika Whitaker said. “He will have pictures. He will have history. But he will not have his biological father, and no one can replace his biological father.”

Bowers, the lawyer, did not address possible legal action, although other family members have separately retained civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump. But Bowers said policing must change.

Potter told jurors she quit after the shooting because she “didn’t want anything bad to happen to the city.” She said she and her husband moved out of state and that she has been been in therapy since the shooting.

Before Potter took the stand Friday, jurors heard from a psychologist for the defense, who said longtime surgeons, pilots and other professionals can still make “action errors” in high-stress situations.

“In plain language, you intend to do one thing, think you’re doing that thing, but do something else and only realize later that the action you intended was not the one you took,” Laurence Miller said as he looked toward jurors. Miller said weapons confusion – particularly confusing a firearm for a Taser – is a form of action error.

Brooklyn Center police officer in training Anthony Luckey, who attempted to arrest Wright before the shooting. Potter was his training officer that day.

90,000

Luckey, 31, appeared in court in full uniform. He told jurors he initiated the traffic stop after noticing the car Wright was driving had a right-turn signal on in the left lane and had expired tabs and an air freshener hanging from the review mirror.

Using an aerial photo of the intersection where the shooting took place, Luckey walked jurors through what happened during the stop. He said he smelled marijuana and observed marijuana leaves scattered around the car. Wright did not have a license or insurance, Luckey said.

‘Wrong gun’ or manslaughter? Former Minnesota officer Kim Potter goes on trial for Daunte Wright shooting

Luckey agreed with prosecutors that Wright was respectful and did not give him any reason to believe he was armed. He also agreed the woman in the car did not appear to be in distress.

Luckey said he, Potter and a third officer, a sergeant, attempted to arrest Wright after learning he had a warrant for failing to appear on a gross misdemeanor weapons charge and a protection order that barred him from having contact with a woman.

In this screen grab from video, Brooklyn Center police Officer Anthony Luckey, testifies Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter in the April 11, 2021, death of Daunte Wright, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.

Luckey said Wright initially got out of the car and placed his hands behind his back. Luckey said Wright pulled away as he attempted to handcuff him and got back into the driver’s seat of the car. Luckey said he and Potter attempted to pull Wright out of the car while the third officer tried to restrain him from the passenger side.

On cross-examination, Luckey agreed with an attorney for the defense that, if Wright had been able to drive away, he and the other officer could have been injured or killed. Luckey also told the jury that he would’ve used a Taser if he could have.

Luckey said he heard Potter repeatedly inform Wright she would tase him, so he pulled back. Luckey said that’s when he saw a flash and heard the “bang” of a gunshot.

Luckey said he got hit in the face by a projectile and was temporarily unable to hear due to the gun going off at close range. Video from the scene shows Potter shouted several expletives and said she “grabbed the wrong” gun.

Luckey said Wright’s car drove forward, “air borne over the median,” and crashed into another vehicle and a fence. As video of the incident played, the loud subsequent bangs of the crash rang out in the courtroom, and Katie Bryant cried.

Luckey said Potter “became hysterical” after the shooting. His bodycam video shows her sobbing on the ground as officers try to comfort her. In the courtroom, Potter wiped away tears, and her attorney offered her a box of tissues.

“She said I’m going to prison,” Luckey recalled.

Ben Crump, George Floyd’s family among supporters in Minneapolis 

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump and members of the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake Jr. – all Black people shot by police in high-profile incidents – gathered and prayed outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Wednesday in solidarity with Wright’s family.

George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, he was there to “stand in solidarity with them, the same they honored us and helped us.”

“We’re coming here to show love because everybody needs this,” he said.

After court ended for the day, a couple dozen people marched through the streets near the courthouse in freezing temperatures, chanting Wright’s naming.

“We want justice for Daunte Wright,” said Deborah Watts, the cousin of Emmett Till.

Dozens of demonstrators march outside of the Hennepin County Government Center on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in Minneapolis, as opening statements begin in the trial for former police officer Kim Potter.

Some residents are watching the proceedings closely, said Marcia Howard, a high school teacher who has been occupying the area known as George Floyd Square nearly every day for the past 19 months. A poster bearing Wright’s image was placed beneath the sculpture of a raised fist in the middle of the intersection.

“Our eyes are on this trial,” Howard said Tuesday evening as she stoked a fire in the parking lot of a former Speedway, where the words “Justice for Daunte Wright!” were written on the sign of the old convenience store and gas station. Howard said a group of people that meets at the square each morning and evening have been discussing the trial.

AP- MAYFIELD, Ky. – They tied themselves with ropes to a basement sewer pipe as a tornado ripped their home apart just a few feet above them.

It was how Shirley Poole, her boyfriend and two grandchildren survived a tornado that left their block, and town, in apocalyptic ruins.

God, she said, had wrapped his arms around them.

But by Sunday – standing near her bedroom wall collapsed by a telephone pole, a child’s desk perched in the open air and home-canned beans scattered among broken glass and debris on the floor – it was the future that was worrying the 54-year-old. 

More than 1,000 area residents lost their homes in the tornado, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on Sunday as state and federal agencies worked to assess the damage and FEMA’s top official visited Mayfield and promised a flood of federal aid.

This woman’s story about what happened the night of the tornado when 86 people were killed by the tornado: <Read Below>

“Housing is going to be such a tremendous need,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, explaining the agency would help map out long-term housing plans along with short-term aid.

WHAT FEMA HAS SAID IN RESPONSE TO THE DEVASTATION IN MAYFIELD

Release DateTue, 12/14/2021 – 15:15

On Sunday, a major disaster declaration was declared for Kentucky after tornadoes left a trail of destruction across the commonwealth.

Communities often need as much help as they can get while they try to recover and rebuild after a major disaster. Recovery is a whole community effort that includes everyone – from government agencies to community organizations and neighbors helping neighbors.

This is why FEMA works with voluntary, faith-based and private sector partners who are critical lifelines to communities and provide much-needed assistance.  These organizations are established experts who know where to send resources and services to help those in need.

Most importantly, we know voluntary and faith-based organizations are the first step in providing critical resources to disaster survivors, to make sure that anyone who needs food, shelter or clothing is receiving that support.

Many of these organizations are already on the ground in Kentucky. These are just some examples of the work they are doing to help survivors:


PHOTO BY: Long Island Jewish Medical Center Northwell Health. FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN TO BE VACCINATED FOR COVID-19.

AMNY Newsletter- Dec. 14 marks exactly one year since the first woman in the United States received the COVID-19 vaccine. The director of nursing for the critical care division at the facility Sandra Lindsay became the first person to receive the life-saving COVID-19 Vaccine.

Lindsay took the shot to protect herself, coworkers, patients, and family. “After I got vaccinated is when I learned that I was the first person in the United States. At first it didn’t hit me, but the weeks after that it really began to sink in, that I had made history. It really, really is an honor to hold this place in history,” Lindsay said. “I hope that they will make the decision that now is a good time with the variants popping up and seeing that the virus is not going away without action that they really need take heed and get themselves protected,” Lindsay said, “We see that variants are popping up because we are not at the level yet where the majority of the population is vaccinated, and that will continue to happen as long as we have low vaccination rates. But luckily for us, we have options now. We have a variety of vaccines on the market. And it’s free for everyone. So, now is the time for people to go ahead and get vaccinated, and for those who are double vaccinated, that they go ahead and get the boosters.”


OTHER PACE TULSA NETWORK PUBLICATION TOPICS


PHOTO: NY TIMES. BROADWAY SHOWS CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

Tina canceled two performances on Wednesday due to breakthrough cases in its company and Harry Potter canceled its 1:00 p.m. performance, though it said it hoped to resume shows by Wednesday night.

Ain’t Too Proud, a musical based on the singing group The Temptations, announced Tuesday it would cancel that evening’s performance due to one breakthrough Covid-19 case, planning to resume performances Wednesday afternoon, and the Mrs. Doubtfire musical canceled performances on SundayTuesday and Wednesday.

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Freestyle Love Supreme, an improvised hip hop show partially created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, canceled performances on Saturday and Monday due to multiple breakthrough cases before resuming Tuesday night.https://af053e9076ce5b1450ab7a62e69a0aa0.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Wicked canceled multiple performances earlier this month before resuming December 7, and the musical Chicago was temporarily shuttered for several days in late November.

Aladdin was the first show to cancel performances due to Covid-19 in September, and the play Chicken and Biscuits ultimately closed early in November due to losses suffered  when performances were paused for over a week due to breakthrough cases.

In addition to Broadway shows, the off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors also canceled its performances over the weekend due to Covid-19 cases in its company.


Abortion-rights and anti-abortion activists rally outside the Supreme Court, on, Nov. 1. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The States Likely to Ban Abortion if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

If the landmark Supreme Court case is overturned, 21 states are certain to attempt a ban on abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. PACE TULSA NETWORK REPOST By Madeline FitzgeraldKaia Hubbard, and Christopher Wolf |Dec. 10, 2021, at 4:11 p.m.


Georgetown University Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy fellow Gigi Sohn testifies before the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla /Getty Images)

“As someone who speaks out against injustice, racism, unfairness, and corruption wherever and whenever I see it, I value our American freedom of speech, and Gigi Sohn will help protect our rights as American citizens,” wrote Allen. “Whether fighting for an open Internet or for the free speech rights of conservatives with whom she disagrees, Gigi advocates for all people to speak and be heard. That is why multiple conservatives who disagree with her on a lot of issues publicly support Gigi’s confirmation to the FCC.”

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