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Old December 23, 2021, 06:35 PM   #1
stagpanther
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Potter convicted

She probably did make a mistake--but nonetheless I'm sickened to the stomach that a true public protection servant gets thrown in the slammer while a punk kid playing LE wannabe walks.
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Old December 23, 2021, 06:56 PM   #2
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The two cases have absolutely nothing to do with each other in terms of the laws involved or how they apply.

Potter was convicted because she made a mistake that, based on her training and responsibility, she absolutely shouldn't have made AND that mistake cost someone their life. She never claimed it was self-defense and admitted from the beginning that it was a mistake. Therefore the only thing at issue was whether the mistake rose to the level of criminal negligence and the jury said it did.

Rittenhouse was acquitted because the circumstances of the shootings he was involved in met the definition of self-defense under the existing statutes. He never claimed that the shootings were a mistake, but rather that they were justified based on the circumstances. The jury agreed.
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Old December 23, 2021, 07:23 PM   #3
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I'll agree no good purpose is served by harsh sentencing of Potter.
IMO, she is probably not competent to be a cop.
She did not measure up to the stress and skill required. She is responsible for killing someone who probably should not have been killed.

Some accountability is necessary. I do not believe there was intent. Not everyone is cut out to be a cop.

Lets face,also, that criminal behavior and resistance are high risk activity. Stupid games,stupid prizes.Don't fight cops.

If I was Judge, she'd lose her job, but I'd see little use for time behind bars.

Community service, suspended sentence,etc

[___]

KR absolutely had as much right to be there as anyone else. "He should not have been there" is a non starter. No one (including you) has legit business saying "He should not have been there"

All three of the shot people had a history (pattern) of violently harming other people. IMO, they should not have been free to walk the street. IMO,THEY should not have been there.
IMO, every citizen violently attacked by ANTIFA,BLM,Proud Boyz,street gangs,or any other such group has EVERY RIGHT to use armed deadly force to defend themselves.
When I see ANTIFA beat down and kick an Old Man in the head for wearing a MAGA hat and just walking down the street, IMO It would have been justice for that Old Man to have Glocked his attackers. A MAGA hat is not sufficient provocation for violence.

The three KR shot people played stupid games and won the stupid prize, Its a Darwin thing. IMO,Kenosha should give KR a community service award. The world has one less serial child rapist /wife beater.

He (KR) was lawfully there,and the Judge (not you) made the ruling he was OK to be armed with an AR-15. The Jury determined he was OK to defend his own Life.
KR was found "Not Guilty" in a court of law. As with ANY citizen, he is innocent till proven guilty.
Its YOU,stagpanther, that are wrong. YOU are the lynch mob.

I hope KR is rewarded with mega-millions in the upcoming lawsuits.

IMO, a more relevant case to compare with Potter's is Baldwin's.

Baldwin,at this point,is not charged with anything.At this point,the Assistant Director who declared "Cold Gun" and the Armorer are not yet charged Totally innocent Halya is dead.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; December 23, 2021 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Off-topic opinion removed by staff
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Old December 23, 2021, 09:18 PM   #4
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And this discussion has just gone off the rails. Some posts are being deleted. If the personal attacks continue, this discussion will be closed.
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Old December 23, 2021, 09:36 PM   #5
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I wasn't in the courtroom and I'm not a lawyer. That said, I don't understand how it's proper that she was convicted on both first and second degree manslaughter. I would have expected that the second degree charge was a fall-back, in case the jury didn't want to convict on the first degree charge. I know they are on the books as two separate crimes, but I have to say that this strikes me as being a case of double jeopardy.

Prior to reading the third article about the verdict, my opinion was that the first degree charge should result in an acquittal, and that the second degree charge should stick. However, from articles around the time of the shooting I somehow had the impression that she wore her taser and her firearm on the same side, which could certainly lead to confusion under high stress (as well as being contrary to what I have always read about the wearing of tasers by police). However, one of the articles about the conviction reported that she wore her duty pistol on the right side and the taser on her left. That -- to me -- makes a rather big difference. It's not like you reached for the taser and missed by a couple of inches and found the firearm. With the taser on the left, it either has to be drawn weak-handed, or cross draw. Either way, it's a VERY different motion.

Bottom line: she screwed up, and someone died as a direct result. That's what negligent homicide is about. I agree that she should have been convicted of something, but I still don't think she should have been convicted of both charges.
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Old December 23, 2021, 09:51 PM   #6
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I finally found an article that at least paraphrases the two charges:

Quote:
The judge said for first-degree manslaughter, prosecutors must prove Potter caused Wright’s death while committing the crime of reckless handling of a firearm. This means they must prove that she committed a conscious or intentional act while handling or using a firearm that creates a substantial or unjustifiable risk that she was aware of and disregarded, and that she endangered safety.

For second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors must prove she acted with culpable negligence, meaning she consciously took a chance of causing death or great bodily harm.
If this paraphrasing of the charges is correct, I don't think I could have convicted on the first degree charge. There was (apparently) no intent to use the firearm. IMHO, that takes the first degree charge right off the table.
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Old December 23, 2021, 11:49 PM   #7
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Not having followed this case, I am a bit foggy about the trial. It would seem the jury instructions would have clearly and concisely stated guidelines for first degree and second degree. Guilty of both is not only counterintuitive but also extreme, in my opinion.
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Old December 24, 2021, 07:23 AM   #8
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I fear that concern over reprisals may be contributing to some of these Jury decisions. When Juries know their name, address, family members, etc. can be quickly posted on the internet and that there are angry protest going on outside the courthouse as they deliberate might this impact their decision. Maybe these Juries are finding them guilty of the more sever charges and hoping that someone else "fixes" it down the road.
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Old December 24, 2021, 08:02 AM   #9
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I also didn't follow the trial. I do recall seeing the video and wondering how this doesn't happen more often. A taser that is shaped like a gun and that functions like a gun seems to invite this sort of error.

Quote:
Maybe these Juries are finding them guilty of the more sever charges and hoping that someone else "fixes" it down the road.
While I perceive no malice in what I saw in the video, I don't think anyone here wants to live under a rule in which a "public servant" gets to kill us and get off with a metaphorical "My apologies". I would want each armed public servant to think that if he uses his gun improperly, he will be held to account for that.

It appears she has been held to account.

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Old December 24, 2021, 09:56 AM   #10
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I also didn't follow the trial. I do recall seeing the video and wondering how this doesn't happen more often. A taser that is shaped like a gun and that functions like a gun seems to invite this sort of error.
Oh, but see, Taser worked this out with an apparent fool-proof plan that you just wear the Taser on the other side of the belt and that way there won't be any confusion...except it seems like people get shot every year under the guise that the officer thought they had drawn their taser.
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Old December 24, 2021, 12:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Oh, but see, Taser worked this out with an apparent fool-proof plan that you just wear the Taser on the other side of the belt and that way there won't be any confusion...except it seems like people get shot every year under the guise that the officer thought they had drawn their taser.
SPECULATION: I wonder how much of this can be attributed to departmental training schedules and procedures?

I'm big on the concept of muscle memory. It applies to all sports, and it's at the root of the old saying that "Practice makes perfect." And we all know (I hope) that's an over-simplification, because if you practice doing something badly, you will ingrain muscle memory of doing it badly. This is why, for example, if you find yourself flinching at the range, it's time to quit for the day or switch to a smaller/lighter caliber so you don't "learn" the flinch.

Those among us who shoot IPSC or IDPA know that after 'X' number of repetitions, the draw becomes more or less an automatic motion. We don't have to think about it -- it just happens. I shoot 1911s. Even though I haven't competed for several years, the muscle memory is still there to flick off the thumb safety as the gun comes up to level on the target. I don't have to remind myself, "Okay, Doofus, the gun is almost on target, it's time to turn off the safety."

I wonder how often Potter's department actually trained and practiced deploying the Taser -- preferably in force-on-force simulations, under [simulated] stress. It's one thing to sit in a classroom and listen to an instructor (or a salesman) telling you that the gun is on your right side and the Taser is on your left, so you won't get them confused. It's quite another thing to be in a high-stress situation in which you have to make a split-second decision, and have your brain and your muscle memory combine to think, "Okay, Taser -- LEFT HAND!" If the only practice Potter's department provides involves the duty firearm, then I respectfully submit that she responded as she was trained.

Am I excusing her? No. The bottom line is that she made a mistake, and a man died as a result. I think a conviction on the second degree manslaughter charge was appropriate. Given the language in the law about intention, I don't think the conviction on the first degree manslaughter was appropriate.

I also think her department needs to review its training protocols. If they don't actively practice deploying the Taser (with dummy projectiles -- I'm not suggesting that they should be zapping each other on a regular basis), I respectfully submit that I think they share in the culpability. Basically, I'm saying that the department may have set her up to fail. Maybe they only provide training scenarios that require deploying the duty firearm. Or maybe they don't provide any training at all, and just require an annual range qualification.

And remember -- she was one of the department's training officers.
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Old December 24, 2021, 01:28 PM   #12
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I'm big on the concept of muscle memory. It applies to all sports, and it's at the root of the old saying that "Practice makes perfect."
Call it by what ever name you want, it applies not just to all sports but to nearly every part of our lives, in one degree or another, EVERY DAY.

There are many, many things in our lives where, once a person has practiced them enough, conscious thought is no longer required to perform the action. What level of practice is enough for that varies from person to person and the tasks performed but it is a real thing. A friend of mine always got irritated whenever someone would say "practice makes perfect". She would vehemently disagree. And, she was entirely correct, with her reply, "Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes better. Perfect practice makes perfect!"

Tasers are a less likely to be lethal alternative, used to stop someone, WHEN there is time to think about using them. The cops in my area that I have seen wearing them wear them on the opposite side from their firearm, and the tasers are BRIGHT YELLOW. Not quite glow in the dark bright but you cannot mistake them for a dark colored gun. That being said, its been proven that the majority of people under stress WILL do what ever they have practiced doing. Right or wrong for the situation.
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Old December 24, 2021, 02:03 PM   #13
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Speculation ONLY: Is no one taking into account that the person that was shot and killed could have also made the decision to stop and comply now, and complain about any misdeeds afterwards??

Let’s use that same principle of muscle memory, as the brain is a muscle, no?? My brothers and I were taught from a YOUNG age to never resist cops, as if they are coming after you, they suspect you’ve done something wrong to gain their attention. (As naive as this sounds, but we grew up with essentially the real life versions of a mix between Andy Griffith/Barney Fife and Roscoe/Enos).

Over and over and over, we were both instructed and reminded to follow the rules and the law, even if we disagreed with them. If we are stopped on the road, or by a patrol officer, simply stop and comply during the engagement, and then complain if there is misconduct. You can get a lawyer to handle the situation if need be. But do NOT resist, it can lead to harm or death by cop. This is the boiled down version of what we were taught. Allow me to give you a short example. In the suburb where my wife and I reside, a LOT of people have a car very similar to my own. Apparently someone did some nefarious things, and was seen taking off in a car identical to mine. I was on a grocery run, was stopped by the local PD, the copper came up and asked for my information, and proceeded to explain to me why I was stopped.

Merely sat there and acknowledged why he was there, but he immediately said I didn’t match the description of the perp, he handed me my papers, and told me to have a nice day. Off I went, no bullets, no taser, nothing. Lost a whopping five minutes of my life. Drove away from it. From what I understand, this perp resisted a bit and even attempted to speed off instead of just complying.

My point, and if I may, my “proposed argument” would be: Becaue of something the perp did, the situation escalated to where we pick up with former Officer Potter. Who, from what I am reading, was only acting as having been instructed. High stress situation, too, and I don’t dare assume that I would have done better/different in said situation. To be clear.

As stated by someone else above…. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
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Old December 24, 2021, 02:30 PM   #14
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It would seem the jury instructions would have clearly and concisely stated guidelines for first degree and second degree.
Minnesota has a weird and troubling practice that gets around double jeopardy by allowing prosecutors to bring multiple counts for the same crime in the hopes that one of them will stick. It also allows someone to be convicted of several statutes for the same crime.

In the case of Derek Chauvin, they found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder AND second-degree manslaughter.

As for Potter's case, I don't see it fitting the criteria for first-degree manslaughter at all.
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Old December 24, 2021, 02:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
As for Potter's case, I don't see it fitting the criteria for first-degree manslaughter at all.
I agree ... but I've said that before.

In fact, it's even a bit of a stretch to make this incident fit the definition of second degree manslaughter.
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Old December 24, 2021, 03:27 PM   #16
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Speculation ONLY: Is no one taking into account that the person that was shot and killed could have also made the decision to stop and comply now, and complain about any misdeeds afterwards??
The problem with that argument is that Potter, herself, stated at the scene that she had no intent to shoot him.

This is VERY important to keep in mind. Once you admit that you had no intent to shoot someone, you can NOT be justified in using deadly force since the keystone of justified use of deadly force is the reasonable believe that deadly force is immediately necessary.

That said, your post is certainly apt. Compliance is certainly an excellent strategy to help insure smooth interaction with law enforcement. If there's a problem, it can be worked out later in court.
Quote:
As for Potter's case, I don't see it fitting the criteria for first-degree manslaughter at all.
Sounds like an appeal is likely.
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Old December 24, 2021, 03:51 PM   #17
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Minnesota has a weird and troubling practice that gets around double jeopardy by allowing prosecutors to bring multiple counts for the same crime in the hopes that one of them will stick. It also allows someone to be convicted of several statutes for the same crime.

In the case of Derek Chauvin, they found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder AND second-degree manslaughter.
Thanks, that had been grinding my gears, too.
Now it also has the feature - to the prosecutor - that if the 1st degree is overturned on appeal, they still have her on 2nd degree which still gives him a conviction on his batting average and serves to soothe the mostly peaceful demonstrators.

Some boffin was saying the proper venue was civil court. Which would lead to lawsuits against the city and department because a cop is not likely to have enough net worth to interest a high profile lawyer. Probably going to get that anyhow.
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Old December 25, 2021, 12:21 AM   #18
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By coincidence, there's an interesting comparison to be made, based on a more recent police shooting:

Kim Potter was convicted on manslaughter because she made a mistake, and a person (more on that person later) was killed. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, California, police got into a shootout with a man who was apparently armed with a bicycle lock. The suspect was killed -- and so was a 14-year old girl who was in a changing room in a nearby clothing store.

So it's going to be interesting to watch. Kim Potter made a mistake in the line of duty and was convicted on TWO charges of manslaughter (for ONE mistake, with ONE victim). A Los Angeles police officer killed an innocent teenager ... will he or she be charged? We "civilians" are constantly being reminded that "You own every bullet you fire." What about this LA police officer? Does he or she own the bullet that killed the teenager?

And now, back to Kim Potter's case: Ann Coulter has weighed in, with some details that may have escaped your attention (since the mainstream media don't want to to know about them.

https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/...ers-dont-know/

Quote:
Contrary to the media’s black victimhood narrative, there’s a very good reason Wright was in a position to be confronted by the police and in a way that most people are not.

In addition to allegedly committing a slew of gun crimes before the age of 20 (based on only one year and six months of public records), Wright was stopped for driving with expired license plate tags. He didn’t have car insurance. He also didn’t have a driver’s license. (And yes, white people are busted for these infractions all the time.)

When the officers ran his name, they discovered that Wright was driving on a suspended license, there was a restraining order against him, and a bench warrant for his arrest on a weapons charge. They had no choice: They had to arrest him. But as one officer began to handcuff him, Wright resisted, jumped back in his car, and was about to flee — along with an officer trapped in the passenger window, trying to get control of the gears.
Quote:
On December 1, 2019, Wright and Driver crashed at the apartment of a 20-year-old woman they’d been partying with. The next morning, the woman’s roommate went out to get $820 in rent money, handed it to her, then left for work.
...
Minutes later, as the three of them were exiting the apartment, Wright suddenly blocked the door, pointed the gun at the woman’s head, saying, “Give me the f-ing money. I know you have it.” (Me to the New York Times: Give us the f-ing facts. We know you have them.)

She refused, asking, “Are you serious?” Wright barked, “We’re not playing around,” and grabbed her by the neck, choking her, as she dropped to her knees, with the gun in his other hand still pointed at her head. “You look into his eyes,” the victim later said, “and it’s so evil.”

Next, he tried ripping her shirt open to get the money, perhaps having seen her hiding it in her bra earlier. She screamed, and Wright began choking her again. (As Wright’s accomplice so poignantly said, there was never a dull moment with this guy.)

Finally, Wright and Driver ran off, hopping into a white Cadillac that was waiting for them.
And, finally:

Quote:
As for the trial of Kim Potter, the officer who shot Wright, neither the prosecution nor defense disputes that it was a mistake, that she thought she was holding her Taser. Several officers, and the defense’s use-of-force expert, testified that Potter would have been fully justified in shooting Wright in order to protect the other officer from being dragged by the car.
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Old December 25, 2021, 05:40 AM   #19
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In fact, it's even a bit of a stretch to make this incident fit the definition of second degree manslaughter.
Are you evolving from your earlier stmt that she should have been convicted of something?

I was surprised to see you say that first stmt. I guess I am more in the minority on this than I thot. A few weeks ago I posted on FB that she never should have even been tried. Like BornFighting, I say when you are in the process of being arrested for an outstanding warrant on a firearm violation, and you suddenly break away, jump behind the wheel and try to speed away, mistakes may be made. I said the little JA perp felon brought it on himself.

It is obvious Potter was not cut out to be a street cop, but then few people really are. But she laid her life on the line for 27 years, and I would not have convicted her of anything, not on the evidence presented.

It does not matter which side her taser was on, or what kind of training she got. She was LE in a stressful situation who had been ordered to carry two tools, and she simply got them mixed up. We can hardly afford to confine all the convicted, violent-crime felons in our society. Why would send someone like Potter to prison? Who are we "deterring" with her imprisonment? Other cops? In the millions of arrests made in the last 20 years, how many times has this happened? Once? Twice?

It is real easy for someone who has never been in a fight, never had to pull a gun defensively, to look at the situation with hindsight and be real critical, when the truth is, if you had dropped them into a blue uniform and into the situation Potter was in, the hindsight critic would have accidentally shot another officer, or himself/herself.

What is really troubling now is the little anti-American prosecutor announcing she is going to seek MORE than the minimum 7 year sentence. Really, 7 years just isn't enough for a simple, absent-minded mistake made in a flash reaction?

To me a prison sentence is not warranted at all here, but I don't know how a sane person gets to "needs to be a long sentence" unless you thought Potter was faking shock at the scene and had secretly just decided the perp needed executing. Problem is, there is not a shred of evidence that happened.

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Old December 25, 2021, 06:05 AM   #20
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Several officers, and the defense’s use-of-force expert, testified that Potter would have been fully justified in shooting Wright in order to protect the other officer from being dragged by the car.
This is what I was thinking about when they first announced they were filing charges. Yes, she made a mistake firing her weapon instead of using the taser. But if we look at the totality of the situation, it looks like she would have been justified in using lethal force.

Perhaps the jury knows something we don't (and that's very possible), but something has been fishy about this the whole time.
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Old December 25, 2021, 06:11 AM   #21
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Several officers, and the defense’s use-of-force expert, testified that Potter would have been fully justified in shooting Wright in order to protect the other officer from being dragged by the car.
The problem is that by her own admission she would not have been. When she stated that she didn't mean to shoot him on video, that was equivalent to stating that she did not believe deadly force was justified.

It is not possible to claim that deadly force was justified if you admit that you did not intend to use deadly force. Once you admit that you did not intend to use deadly force, you are also stating that deadly force was not, in your opinion necessary and therefore it was not, in your opinion justified either.
Quote:
And now, back to Kim Potter's case: Ann Coulter has weighed in, with some details that may have escaped your attention (since the mainstream media don't want to to know about them.
Most of that is irrelevant to the case in terms of legality. The only things relevant to the case would be what Potter knew, or would be expected to know at the time.

That is, she knew why they stopped him and that he had a warrant on a weapons charge. Since that's all she knew, that's all that is relevant to the actions that she took.
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Old December 25, 2021, 06:28 AM   #22
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It is not possible to claim that deadly force was justified if you admit that you did not intend to use deadly force. Once you admit that you did not intend to use deadly force, you are also stating that deadly force was not, in your opinion necessary and therefore it was not, in your opinion justified either.
My guess is they were not arguing that SD/DOO should have been argued, but that the situation she was in certainly bears upon whether she was "negligent" or not.

When you are trying to figure out whether your fellow office is about to be run over by a scumbag who couldn't care less whether he killed or maimed a cop, so long as he got away with it, that sort of DISTRACTS you from verifying which tool you are holding.

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Old December 25, 2021, 08:15 AM   #23
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No question that there was a lot going on. I don't think there's any question that she made a mistake. The issue is that the jury felt the mistake sufficiently negligent to be criminal. Like the 23yo who was sentenced to life in prison for making a mistake while driving a semi. He was distracted by a brake failure and made some mistakes that were determined to be sufficiently negligent to be criminal.
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Old December 25, 2021, 09:33 AM   #24
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Or, as someone noted above, perhaps they were intimidated by the mobs of protestors screaming for "justice" that could be heard through the courtroom windows and voted to convict out of fear.

All I can say is that I am shocked there were not at least a couple of jurors willing to refuse to convict Potter of anything, much less the more serious charge.

The prosecution also did everything they could to make Potter look as bad as possible to the jury, such as by pointing out minor discrepancies in pre-arrest statements and arguing they showed recklessness.

It is called prosecutorial discretion, and it has been completely absent in not only the two cop-manslaughter trials in that courtroom but also in the Colorado truck crash case you mentioned.

I will give you an example. 15 or so years ago here a pastor heard a break-in of his nearby church (via a baby monitor), went (armed) to investigate and caught two burglars inside. They pushed past him on some stairs and went out the window they had come in. He shot both of them as they ran away, killing one. They were unarmed, but had abandoned a stolen .357 downstairs, left on top of a water-heater, when they heard the pastor come in.

The prosecutor let the jury be told about the .357, even though it obviously had nothing to do with the pastor's decision to shoot and so he probably could have kept it out, because the pastor had no idea it was there when he shot. The jury acquitted.

The prosecutor was a good friend. I never asked him about that his decision to not try to prevent the jury from learning about the .357, but I knew him well enough at the time to guess that whether the existence of the gun was technically admissible or not under the Rules of Evidence, it was something the jury needed to know to reach a just decision.

We don't have that sort of thing going on now. We have the opposite of that, with prosecutors vilifying cops who make mistakes. As Aguila pointed out, don't be surprised if the politically-driven prosecutor in L. A. prosecutes whichever cop fired the bullet that went thru the wall of the dressing room and killed that girl. We can talk about why if you want to expand the rules on permissible posts.

The problem is not the cops, it is the people they are having to deal with, who are getting more and more violent and bold with each passing day.

Last edited by Eight_is_enough; December 25, 2021 at 09:39 AM.
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Old December 25, 2021, 09:34 AM   #25
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight is enough
Quote:
In fact, it's even a bit of a stretch to make this incident fit the definition of second degree manslaughter.
Are you evolving from your earlier stmt that she should have been convicted of something?
No, I'm not "evolving" from my earlier statement. The Potter case isn't a perfect fit for the second degree manslaughter charge, but in real life circumstances often aren't a perfect fit with the precise language of laws. That's one of the reasons why we have courts and juries.

My position remains that -- in general -- manslaughter is when someone kills another person without intending to kill them. In the Potter case, that's exactly what happened. For the general populace, we are generally held (and rightly so) to the concept that we own every bullet we fire. I don't subscribe to the notion that police officers are special. Police officers are civilians. We arm them, but we do so with the understanding that they are supposed to use their weapons only when needed, and that they are subjects of the same laws that the rest of us are subject to.

I don't have a problem with the second degree manslaughter charge. I also wouldn't be burning down any courthouses if the jury had acquitted her, and I hope the judge imposes a minimum sentence now that she has been convicted.
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