Protester charged with harassing judge in trial of police officer who killed Daunte Wright

·2 min read

A Minneapolis man has been arrested after authorities say he harassed the judge overseeing former police officer Kim Potter’s trial.

Ms Potter has been charged with manslaughter over the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old man whom she fatally shot during a traffic stop last year in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Ms Potter has said she meant to fire her taser, but used her gun instead by accident.

Protester Cortez Rice posted a video of himself outside what he believed to be Judge Regina Chu’s door (WCCO)
Protester Cortez Rice posted a video of himself outside what he believed to be Judge Regina Chu’s door (WCCO)

Last month, a protester named Cortez Rice demanded that cameras and other recording devices be allowed at Ms Potter’s trial – but prosecutors say he took his protest a step too far.

According to a criminal complaint, Mr Rice led a demonstration outside what he believed was Judge Regina Chu’s apartment building. Then, authorities say, he went inside, live-streaming a video of himself just outside what he believed to be her apartment door.

“I think this is her crib right here,” Mr Rice said in the video, according to WCCO. “We got confirmation that this is her house right here. Waiting for the gang to get up here.”

The charging document says Mr Rice’s “intention was to intimidate [Judge Chu] and interfere with the judicial process.” He has been charged with felony harassment involving retaliation against a judicial officer.

“On or about 11/8/2021, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Cortez Aaron Rice harassed Judge RC with intent to influence or otherwise tamper with a juror or a judicial proceeding,” the complaint says.

After leaving the building, the document says, Mr Rice returned to his fellow protesters outside, telling them, “That b**** looking at us. That’s her window on the 12th floor.”

He then allegedly looked up at the window and shouted, “We demand transparency! We’d hate you to get kicked out of your apartment!”

Mr Rice has a history with Judge Chu. A month before the alleged harassment, the judge ruled that Mr Rice had violated his probation in an unrelated gun possession case, KARE 11 has reported.

Mr Rice denies that he was harassing the judge, and says he never intended to sway her on either of these cases.

“I just went there to make sure we were in the right vicinity, that if we were at the right place, that they could hear us,” he told WCCO. “We simply wanted her to hear what we had to say.”

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