“He was considered to be more of a trouble child,” one juror said during jury selection, describing what she had heard in the news. That juror, a teacher and the only Black juror, said the killing of Mr. Wright reminded her of other “terrible situations,” including the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, by a white man in Georgia; he and two others were convicted of murder in the case in November. She also said that police officers “have to maintain” a “level of professionalism” in tough situations.
All the jurors who were chosen said they could put their own preconceptions about the case aside and evaluate the evidence at trial impartially.
Several jurors who were chosen expressed worry over their identities being released by the court after the trial concludes.
“No matter which direction this takes, there’s going to be a large portion of people that aren’t going to be happy,” said a white juror in his 40s who works in information security. That juror said he had once wanted to be a police officer, but chose a different career because he was “afraid that I’d end up having to use my gun.”
The trial proceedings are being streamed live, a rarity in Minnesota. Though jurors are not shown on camera, one juror said friends had recognized him during jury selection by his voice and by the details of the answers he gave to questions. One of Ms. Potter’s lawyers also mistakenly uttered the juror’s surname in court.
That juror, who is white, said he was frightened by being recognized but had so far been contacted about it only by people who already knew him. He said he still wanted to serve on the jury.
Several other jurors said they had concerns about taking part in the trial.
The student who will have to postpone her exams had said explicitly that she did not want to be on the jury because of her tests and because she had many friends and relatives who were “very opinionated” about the case. Even so, the juror, an Asian woman in her 20s, said she was sure she could put those influences aside and decide the case fairly.