Reflections on ‘Blue’ Prosecutions

 

With the conviction on manslaughter charges of former police officer Kim Potter we seem to pursuing a pattern in “Blue” prosecutions. By “Blue” I am not just referring to prosecutions of the men and women in blue (although it includes them) but the pressure in Blue states to prosecute and convict persons of crimes when there a perceived political advantage to do so; where the “wrong” person has been injured or killed by what ordinarily would have been seen as a legal, if tragic, shooting

Not completely unrelated to that is the treatment of the January 6 accused rioters compared to other Capitol protests (e.g. the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh) as well as Antifa arsons, killings, and property destruction, as well as the non-prosecutions of favored persons in our current political moment.

I don’t know when the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights have been more fragile than at present. I don’t know when equality under the law has been more disregarded than at present.

If this trend continues we are in for a very, very difficult time.

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  1. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    That poor woman. It’s not right. I’ve never been more worried.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    A fascinating observation: blue states going after “the enemy” in whatever form. Prosecute the good guys, free the bad guys. Such sad times.

    Still, Merry Christmas, Rodin.

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The Kim Potter trial has a number of issues that need to be examined. Training, media disinformation, qualified immunity, a culture of resisting arrest, the clown show of the chanting mob outside the court room, and perhaps pressure on the sequestered jury to reach a verdict before Christmas Day. 

     

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Meanwhile, the police that are active are putting people in jail for not wearing masks. 

    I think this is horrible for her and horrible for everyone too. The Police are going to be thugs of the state, using violence against the “sub human deplorables” people, and never against the “humans”. The good cops are all quitting in droves and who can blame them. 

    The Rich liberals will all have private security that can do whatever they want with impunity. 

    From a dystopia, this is Cyberpunk. We just have phones instead of implants. 

    • #4
  5. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The Kim Potter trial has a number of issues that need to be examined. Training, media disinformation, qualified immunity, a culture of resisting arrest, the clown show of the chanting mob outside the court room, and perhaps pressure on the sequestered jury to reach a verdict before Christmas Day.

     

    It was just a horrible, tragic accident. Many people are suffering from it, but it was the officer’s fault. If she had been a rookie, I would have more sympathy for her, but she had decades of training and experience. In my opinion, she should not have been on the street if she couldn’t distinguish, by feel and touch, the difference between a Taser and a firearm. The fact that she was a training officer speaks to something very wrong with that police department.

    I am a strong supporter of our police officers and appreciate the fact that they put their lives on the line every day. But former officer Potter is not the victim in this tragedy.

    • #5
  6. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The Kim Potter trial has a number of issues that need to be examined. Training, media disinformation, qualified immunity, a culture of resisting arrest, the clown show of the chanting mob outside the court room, and perhaps pressure on the sequestered jury to reach a verdict before Christmas Day.

    It was just a horrible, tragic accident. Many people are suffering from it, but it was the officer’s fault. If she had been a rookie, I would have more sympathy for her, but she had decades of training and experience. In my opinion, she should not have been on the street if she couldn’t distinguish, by feel and touch, the difference between a Taser and a firearm. The fact that she was a training officer speaks to something very wrong with that police department.

    I am a strong supporter of our police officers and appreciate the fact that they put their lives on the line every day. But former officer Potter is not the victim in this tragedy.

    I don’t know what the training model is for her police department. The Taser can be an effective tool, but it has limitations. There are times the barbs will not penetrate clothing. He had a warrant and it was obvious to me that wrestling with someone who is standing up is not very effective. Sometimes you have to throw some punches to keep someone from getting back into a car. It’s not pretty but you need to get him off his feet.

    Once he got back into the car emptying a cannister of pepper spray is the better tool. Saturate his face, clothing, and the steering wheel. So if his hands touch his clothing, or the steering wheel he gets a second hit of the spray if he uses his hands to try and wipe his eyes.

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    https://www.postregister.com/news/breaking/idaho-falls-police-department-officer-charged-with-involuntary-manslaughter-in-backyard-shooting/article_1a5576e2-70f9-5138-a3fb-5bbe34f1b50d.html

    Idaho Falls Police Department officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in backyard shooting

    So apparently, being armed on your own property is a reason for the police to shoot you or not?

    In this story, if the man knew there was a manhunt and he went outside with a gun, he was not making the best choices. I do think I the man had an absolute right to be armed on his own property and that should not mean he is open game to be shot. 

    On the other hand, I no longer believe any statement from the police automatically. Maybe he had a gun, maybe he did not. I’d have to see actual evidence that he had a gun on him at the time, backed up by his family. 

    • #7
  8. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The Kim Potter trial has a number of issues that need to be examined. Training, media disinformation, qualified immunity, a culture of resisting arrest, the clown show of the chanting mob outside the court room, and perhaps pressure on the sequestered jury to reach a verdict before Christmas Day.

    It was just a horrible, tragic accident. Many people are suffering from it, but it was the officer’s fault. If she had been a rookie, I would have more sympathy for her, but she had decades of training and experience. In my opinion, she should not have been on the street if she couldn’t distinguish, by feel and touch, the difference between a Taser and a firearm. The fact that she was a training officer speaks to something very wrong with that police department.

    I am a strong supporter of our police officers and appreciate the fact that they put their lives on the line every day. But former officer Potter is not the victim in this tragedy.

    I don’t know what the training model is for her police department. The Taser can be an effective tool, but it has limitations. There are times the barbs will not penetrate clothing. He has a warrant and it was obvious to me that wrestling with someone who is standing up is not very effective. Sometimes you have to throw some punches to keep someone from getting back into a car. It’s not pretty but you need to get him off his feet.

    Once he got back into the car emptying a cannister of pepper spray is the better tool. Saturate his face, clothing, and the steering wheel. So if his hands touch his clothing, or the steering wheel he gets a second hit of the spray if he uses his hands to try and wipe his eyes.

    In the body cam video that I saw, the officer was yelling at him that she was going to Tase him, but she somehow pulled out her pistol and shot him by mistake. I have no doubt that it was just that, a mistake on her part. Just based upon that video, she was guilty of involuntary manslaughter (as I understand the term).

    • #8
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    A fascinating observation: blue states going after “the enemy” in whatever form. Prosecute the good guys, free the bad guys. Such sad times.

    Still, Merry Christmas, Rodin.

    And, to you, as well, @susanquinn, and all the Ricochetti.

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    In the body cam video that I saw, the officer was yelling at him that she was going to Tase him, but she somehow pulled out her pistol and shot him by mistake. I have no doubt that it was just that, a mistake on her part. Just based upon that video, she was guilty of involuntary manslaughter (as I understand the term).

    The conviction was for 1st and 2nd degrees manslaughter under the Minnesota statutes:

    609.20 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE.

    Whoever does any of the following is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 15 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $30,000, or both:

    (1) intentionally causes the death of another person in the heat of passion provoked by such words or acts of another as would provoke a person of ordinary self-control under like circumstances, provided that the crying of a child does not constitute provocation;

    ***

    As used in this section, a “person of ordinary self-control” does not include a person under the influence of intoxicants or a controlled substance.

    and

    609.205 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.

    A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both:

    (1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another; or

    ***

    As a general rule neither of these provisions contemplate “normal” law enforcement actions. (I have elided provisions that dealt with indirect death by providing drugs, etc or other situations not asserted in this case. You can look up the provisions to see what I am not quoting and whether these removals are correct.) To convict of manslaughter you would need to find that the circumstances were not normal in law enforcement and that the risk of severe injury and death was uncommon to law enforcement activity. The defense argued that had Officer Potter intended to draw her gun and shot the man, it would have been ruled a “good shoot” under the police guidelines given the nature and extent of the resistance, the potential for using the vehicle in a dangerous manner had he escaped, etc. If so, then how could she run afoul of the manslaughter statutes when she mistook her gun for a taser? Valid question. Just like in the Rittenhouse case, the prosecution is reaching to charge a crime. And they did so because of a malign political atmosphere, not dispassionate dispensation of justice.

    • #10
  11. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    PowerLine has a great article exploiting why she was overcharged.

    • #11
  12. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    I am not certain if “people of color” felt betrayed by past justice…if they felt our system definitely worked against them because of the color of their skin. That is the claim, and true or not, if it feels that way, it probably is that way. Now, however, as in nearly all things that contain an aspect of momentum, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. We now look away if a certain group breaks the law, and we drop the hammer on police officers and protesters who are supporting conservative ideas. I agree with @rodin in his OP. We need to come back to a balance. This is getting scary. What Kim Potter did was unfathomable. A police officer that was so unnerved by a nearly everyday experience (an attempt to escape arrest) that she confuses her taser with her pistol!!?? But she had zero motive to shoot this perpetrator and lots of help all around her. The victim was no angel and he was breaking the law at the time he was shot. The result was a tragedy on both sides.  When I heard the prosecutor comment that she should get more than the seven years that was in play, and he happens to be a person of color, well that kind of attitude does nothing to help the equilibrium. That probably should be expected out of a person like Keith Ellison.

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Rodin: With the conviction on manslaughter charges of former police officer Kim Potter we seem to pursuing a pattern in “Blue” prosecutions. By “Blue” I am not just referring to prosecutions of the men and women in blue (although it includes them) but the pressure in Blue states to prosecute and convict persons of crimes when there a perceived political advantage to do so; where the “wrong” person has been injured or killed by what ordinarily would have been seen as a legal, if tragic, shooting.

    It’s more than just the prosecution.  You have police departments and police unions who won’t back up their folllow officers, even though anyone can make a tragic mistake.  You have the MSM and political figures who poison the jury pool with biased coverage and heated rhetoric.  You have judges who let the prosecution have an edge, or who refuse a change of venue.

    But worst of all, you have juries that convict.  Whether they do so out of fear (the threat of doxxing or riots) or because of their politics (we’re going to find the defendant guilty because he’s white and the poor, innocent victim was black), the verdicts are unjustice being served.

    Our men and women in blue deserve better . . .

    • #13
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    We are in another wicked cycle, like the nationwide evil assertions of bizarre child sexual abuse in the 1980s. Those trials were grotesque perversions of justice, almost entirely without any foundation in reality. It took decades to get the real victims out of prison, with prosecutors still fighting to suppress the truth.

    • #14
  15. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Stad (View Comment):

    Rodin: With the conviction on manslaughter charges of former police officer Kim Potter we seem to pursuing a pattern in “Blue” prosecutions. By “Blue” I am not just referring to prosecutions of the men and women in blue (although it includes them) but the pressure in Blue states to prosecute and convict persons of crimes when there a perceived political advantage to do so; where the “wrong” person has been injured or killed by what ordinarily would have been seen as a legal, if tragic, shooting.

    It’s more than just the prosecution. You have police departments and police unions who won’t back up their folllow officers, even though anyone can make a tragic mistake. You have the MSM and political figures who poison the jury pool with biased coverage and heated rhetoric. You have judges who let the prosecution have an edge, or who refuse a change of venue.

    But worst of all, you have juries that convict. Whether they do so out of fear (the threat of doxxing or riots) or because of their politics (we’re going to find the defendant guilty because he’s white and the poor, innocent victim was black), the verdicts are unjustice being served.

    Our men and women in blue deserve better . . .

    I agree. But we also have, in the the Potter case, VIDEO and her own words:

    A still showing Kim Potter on the ground. In this image taken from police video played during the trial of Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer, on December 8 in Minneapolis, Potter lies on the ground after the traffic stop of Daunte Wright on the April 11.Court TV, via AP, Pool

    • Body-camera footage captured Kim Potter’s response after she shot Daunte Wright in April.

    • “Oh, [REDACTED]. I shot him,” Potter could be heard saying. “I grabbed the wrong [REDACTED] gun.”

    • #15
  16. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    cdor (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Rodin: With the conviction on manslaughter charges of former police officer Kim Potter we seem to pursuing a pattern in “Blue” prosecutions. By “Blue” I am not just referring to prosecutions of the men and women in blue (although it includes them) but the pressure in Blue states to prosecute and convict persons of crimes when there a perceived political advantage to do so; where the “wrong” person has been injured or killed by what ordinarily would have been seen as a legal, if tragic, shooting.

    It’s more than just the prosecution. You have police departments and police unions who won’t back up their folllow officers, even though anyone can make a tragic mistake. You have the MSM and political figures who poison the jury pool with biased coverage and heated rhetoric. You have judges who let the prosecution have an edge, or who refuse a change of venue.

    But worst of all, you have juries that convict. Whether they do so out of fear (the threat of doxxing or riots) or because of their politics (we’re going to find the defendant guilty because he’s white and the poor, innocent victim was black), the verdicts are unjustice being served.

    Our men and women in blue deserve better . . .

    I agree. But we also have, in the the Potter case, VIDEO and her own words:

    A still showing Kim Potter on the ground. In this image taken from police video played during the trial of Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer, on December 8 in Minneapolis, Potter lies on the ground after the traffic stop of Daunte Wright on the April 11.Court TV, via AP, Pool

    • Body-camera footage captured Kim Potter’s response after she shot Daunte Wright in April.

    • “Oh, [REDACTED]. I shot him,” Potter could be heard saying. “I grabbed the wrong [REDACTED] gun.”

    …………………………………

    I saw the video, it’s heartbreaking.  The man was resisting arrest and attempting to escape. He was a known violent criminal. Nearly every single one of these incidents is because of the behavior of the criminal. Including George Floyd and Michael Brown. It was obviously an accident, and she should have been given a break. It was wrong. The Police Association issued a statement to that effect too.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Rodin: With the conviction on manslaughter charges of former police officer Kim Potter we seem to pursuing a pattern in “Blue” prosecutions. By “Blue” I am not just referring to prosecutions of the men and women in blue (although it includes them) but the pressure in Blue states to prosecute and convict persons of crimes when there a perceived political advantage to do so; where the “wrong” person has been injured or killed by what ordinarily would have been seen as a legal, if tragic, shooting.

    It’s more than just the prosecution. You have police departments and police unions who won’t back up their folllow officers, even though anyone can make a tragic mistake. You have the MSM and political figures who poison the jury pool with biased coverage and heated rhetoric. You have judges who let the prosecution have an edge, or who refuse a change of venue.

    But worst of all, you have juries that convict. Whether they do so out of fear (the threat of doxxing or riots) or because of their politics (we’re going to find the defendant guilty because he’s white and the poor, innocent victim was black), the verdicts are unjustice being served.

    Our men and women in blue deserve better . . .

    I agree. But we also have, in the the Potter case, VIDEO and her own words:

    A still showing Kim Potter on the ground. In this image taken from police video played during the trial of Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer, on December 8 in Minneapolis, Potter lies on the ground after the traffic stop of Daunte Wright on the April 11.Court TV, via AP, Pool

    • Body-camera footage captured Kim Potter’s response after she shot Daunte Wright in April.

    • “Oh, [REDACTED]. I shot him,” Potter could be heard saying. “I grabbed the wrong [REDACTED] gun.”

    …………………………………

    I saw the video, it’s heartbreaking. The man was resisting arrest and attempting to escape. He was a known violent criminal. Nearly every single one of these incidents is because of the behavior of the criminal. Including George Floyd and Michael Brown. It was obviously an accident, and she should have been given a break. It was wrong. The Police Association issued a statement to that effect too.

    All the benefit of the doubt goes to the criminals all the time. Why would someone be a police officer?

    • #17
  18. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Rodin: With the conviction on manslaughter charges of former police officer Kim Potter we seem to pursuing a pattern in “Blue” prosecutions. By “Blue” I am not just referring to prosecutions of the men and women in blue (although it includes them) but the pressure in Blue states to prosecute and convict persons of crimes when there a perceived political advantage to do so; where the “wrong” person has been injured or killed by what ordinarily would have been seen as a legal, if tragic, shooting.

    It’s more than just the prosecution. You have police departments and police unions who won’t back up their folllow officers, even though anyone can make a tragic mistake. You have the MSM and political figures who poison the jury pool with biased coverage and heated rhetoric. You have judges who let the prosecution have an edge, or who refuse a change of venue.

    But worst of all, you have juries that convict. Whether they do so out of fear (the threat of doxxing or riots) or because of their politics (we’re going to find the defendant guilty because he’s white and the poor, innocent victim was black), the verdicts are unjustice being served.

    Our men and women in blue deserve better . . .

    I agree. But we also have, in the the Potter case, VIDEO and her own words:

    A still showing Kim Potter on the ground. In this image taken from police video played during the trial of Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer, on December 8 in Minneapolis, Potter lies on the ground after the traffic stop of Daunte Wright on the April 11.Court TV, via AP, Pool

    • Body-camera footage captured Kim Potter’s response after she shot Daunte Wright in April.

    • “Oh, [REDACTED]. I shot him,” Potter could be heard saying. “I grabbed the wrong [REDACTED] gun.”

    …………………………………

    I saw the video, it’s heartbreaking. The man was resisting arrest and attempting to escape. He was a known violent criminal. Nearly every single one of these incidents is because of the behavior of the criminal. Including George Floyd and Michael Brown. It was obviously an accident, and she should have been given a break. It was wrong. The Police Association issued a statement to that effect too.

    It was an accident. Her reaction is evidence enough of that! That does not mean she is free from responsibility, nor should she be. She is a professionally trained, and experienced police officer performing in a situation that should be right down her wheelhouse. The victim was a criminal, no doubt. There is also no doubt that his crimes, were they to have been prosecuted, would never amount to anything close to a death sentence. But that is how it ended.

    • #18
  19. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    The left hates cops and piled on in masochistic fashion, even labeling her motives as racist. They took great pleasure in their attacks. They hold that level of hatred for all of us and justify it by painting all of us as evil racists.it won’t end well.

    • #19
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