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Old December 27, 2021, 07:57 PM   #51
zukiphile
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I agree that she is a sympathetic defendant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC
I'd be making a bad mistake to think I could go full out of control drama bad behavior.....with no limitatons and then at the same time hold cops to a standard of flawless perfection.
"Contempt of cop" is a real and dangerous problem. There is no rules based system in which simply resisting (but not using deadly force) should result in a summary death sentence.

The Potter case doesn't look like a contempt of cop retaliation; it looks to me like a stress induced error. A standard that holds POs to not negligently killing those they detain is hardly a standard of flawless perfection.
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Old December 27, 2021, 08:21 PM   #52
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When they ran his license and tags, they (the police) learned that there was an open felony warrant out on Wright. So they weren't trying to arrest him just over a burned-out taillight, and he wasn't trying to escape from just a burned-out taillight ticket.
Actually that is incorrect only in so much that the car was registered to his brother who also had a warrant for his arrest . After the car was stopped Dauntay was approached by LEO at the drivers side window and was asked for ID . He did not have any and he gave the cop his name verbally which the cop wrote down . He then went back to the car and ran that name which came back with Dauntay's warrant . Your overall point was accurate just not the details . I watched a good bit of the trial and remember that aspect specifically .

Also there was no tail light issue , first thing observed was the car in the left turn lane with the right turn blinker on . That was what caused the cops to look more closely at the car and occupants . That lead to seeing a air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror which is illegal in that area/town . Those two things together caused the cops to run the plates which retuned expired tags and the warrant for Dauntay's brother . At that point they pretty much had no choice but to pull the car over and the rest is history .

FWIW and I don't know if actually true but Potter said on the stand if she had not been training that day and was alone she likely would have never ran the plates for those two initial things ( blinker and air freshener on mirror ) . The trainee wanted to continue the investigation of the vehicle and Potter thought it could be a good training opportunity so she allowed it .
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Old December 28, 2021, 12:18 AM   #53
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When they ran his license and tags, they (the police) learned that there was an open felony warrant out on Wright. So they weren't trying to arrest him just over a burned-out taillight, and he wasn't trying to escape from just a burned-out taillight ticket.
OK, I could not remember the fine details that were specific to Wright. I vaguely remember he had some history of being armed and dangerous and the cops knew he could be dangerous.
But I did not want to post inaccurate information.

So I set up a hypothetical generic reason for a minor traffic stop. "Tail light out"

Note I put "For Example" in (--------) to help clarify that. I did not intend for the tail light to have any significance or connection to this case.
A detail of my post gets grabbed onto,overthinking takes place,and a whole new story is written. Forgive me for my failures at wordsmithing. I just don't know how to write in a way that cannot be misinterpreted.
If I may suggest,instead of looking for that detail ,the foible,the Achilles heal,
Try reading the entire post and just understanding what I'm trying to say.
If you could say it back,in your own words,Great!! Then feel free to disagree all you want.

My point was a minor detail like a tail light or blinker signal is not significant enough to end a human life over.
Nearly all of us,cops included,would agree. The value of a Human Life aside, I suspect the cops would say its not worth the paperwork.

Quote:
"Contempt of cop" is a real and dangerous problem. There is no rules based system in which simply resisting (but not using deadly force) should result in a summary death sentence.

The Potter case doesn't look like a contempt of cop retaliation; it looks to me like a stress induced error. A standard that holds POs to not negligently killing those they detain is hardly a standard of flawless perfection.
I've watched enough "bad cop" youtube videos to agree a few bad cops exist.

Loveland,Colorado is the next town south of me on US 287. The Loveland Police Dept became internationally famous over the brutal arrest of a 90 lb senior citizen woman with Alzheimer's who was walking home after neglecting to pay for $14 worth of merchandise. Look up the "Karen Gardner" case. This cop replayed the tape at the station with glee. "Did you hear the pop?" when her arm broke as he had her chicken winged over the car.

There is,Unfortunately, a slippery slope applied to "resisting" . Rodney King might be another example. I'm not any fan of George Floyd. IMO,his death was largely from the drugs he took,like Fentanyl. But Chauvin,IMO, took he slippery slope of "resisting" too far.

That does happen. Those cops are wrong.

But the cops cannot establish a precedent "If you put up a pretty good fight,we will let you go"

I know for sure,if I fight the cops I'm going to lose. Period. "Fair" has nothing to do with it.

I don't want to single out a skin color, but we do have "BLM". I agree whole heartedly that the lives of Black People Matter. In regard to the Black Lives lost to Police contact, IMO the greatest opportunity to save lives is 1) Don't stomp on the gas pedal and try to run away. Driving 100 mph + in traffic takes lives. Often innocent ones.
2) If you are going to be detained,you are going to be cuffed. Don't even tense up. Relax and let them cuff you. If they want you to get in the car,relax and get in the car.Then you won't have to be physically dominated and defeated. There are no bruises that way. Easy-Peasy

3) End of the day,cops want to go home safe. They have to stay "on edge" to a degree,as complacent cops have a funeral to attend. As a person contacted by a cop, think in terms of your own safety. Do not cause the cop to have an "adrenaline jolt" What you,as the contacted citizen,know as your black phone,...When you swing it up to eye level to video the cop, might ,for a critical 2 tenths of a second,look like a Glock to the Officer. His practiced reaction to draw and fire in less than one second gets triggered,you might die. I think in terms of: " Officer, I'm going to keep my hands on the steering wheel till you tell me what to do. I have a CCW, I'm armed. I have a 4 oclock IWB holster. I already pulled my keys and got my wallet out.Its on the dash." And I would have already turned on my interior light.

I do that because I think MY life matters,and I choose to take good care of it,

I can take care of my perceived complaints later. Off the street.

Its NOT just he cops that need to get better. They CAN'T do it all.

Its Wright who created the melee that killed him. Potter made a very serious mistake once caught up in that melee,
The one person with the most power to have prevented that death was Wright.

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Old December 28, 2021, 12:20 AM   #54
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FWIW and I don't know if actually true but Potter said on the stand if she had not been training that day and was alone she likely would have never ran the plates for those two initial things ( blinker and air freshener on mirror ) . The trainee wanted to continue the investigation of the vehicle and Potter thought it could be a good training opportunity so she allowed it .
Turned out to be much more of a training experience than she realized. I am sure the trainee learned many things.
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Old December 28, 2021, 12:48 AM   #55
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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.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. There is more than one, two, three, or hundreds of examples of cops who may have been justified in using deadly force, but chose and intended to use less than lethal force. Take the same scenario of mistaking a gun with a taser, except put the subject at 15 feet away with a knife advancing on you. A cop could easily ¨intend¨ to use a taser, and hence less than lethal force. They would still be justified in using lethal force, and if you mistook your gun for a taser it shouldn´t matter. But it possibly could if you fell on the ground crying about how you will go to prison because you killed someone after they have been shot, and that is captured on video and later played to a jury. Alas, in Potter´s case we don´t have that clearly defined obviously justifiable use of deadly force. Plenty of cops have shot the driver of a vehicle when that vehicle was maneuvering in such a manner that it could be a deadly weapon. This happened recently in Elizabeth City, NC, and no cops were charged. Of course the scenarios could be radically different (I haven´t followed the Potter trial closely). Just because someone is driving and ¨could possibly¨ injure or kill someone else with the vehicle does not mean deadly force is automatically justifiable.


Personally, from what little I know of this case, manslaughter absolutely fits. I absolutely believe Potter intended to do the right thing, and it´s very likely she always acted in a manner in which she intended to do good and right. Alas, law is law. Manslaughter, and criminal negligence in general, is grounded in nearly 500 years of common law. I am back in uniform as an officer, and I do carry a taser. I have always been sensitive to the issue of intending deploy a taser but deploying a firearm instead. Back in 2010, when tasers were fairly new and in common but not widespread use, there was video of a port authority officer somewhere shooting when he obviously meant to tase him. I have always carried my taser such that it requires a weak hand draw. I have never actually used it, despite being in numerous fist fights (when it´s use would be authorized). I know it´s there, but it´s just not really a go to option for me. The main reason why is for instances just like this. I feel bad for Potter. She was in a tense situation if there was another Officer essentially hanging out of the car. I´m still ok with the conviction though. It´s tough, and I feel there should be leniency at sentencing (there usually is when someone is trying to do right but makes a fatal mistake), but it´s equal application of the law.
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Old December 28, 2021, 01:03 AM   #56
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I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement.
It doesn't really matter.

The fact is that the reasonable belief on the part of the person using deadly force that deadly force is immediately necessary to resolve the situation is a necessary part of establishing that the deadly force was justified.

If you admit verbally or demonstrate by your actions that you didn't mean to use deadly force, you obliterate any chance at claiming that deadly force was justified.

Question: What is one thing that is necessary to prove that use of deadly force was justified?
Answer: The reasonable belief by the person using the force that using deadly force was immediately necessary to resolve the situation.

Question: If the person does not reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to resolve the situation can deadly force be justified?
Answer: No. It is necessary that they reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary.

Question: If a person has the means to use deadly force but chooses not to do so, do they reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to resolve the situation?
Answer: No. Their actions demonstrate that they do not believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to resolve the situation. If they did believe it was necessary, they would have used it.
Quote:
There is more than one, two, three, or hundreds of examples of cops who may have been justified in using deadly force, but chose and intended to use less than lethal force.
Their CHOICE eliminates the possibility that lethal force was justified.

It takes more than just the circumstances of the situation to justify lethal force. The person using the lethal force has to believe it is immediately necessary.
Quote:
A cop could easily ¨intend¨ to use a taser, and hence less than lethal force. They would still be justified in using lethal force...
NO, they would not. If they intend to use less than lethal force when they have the option of lethal force, they clearly do not believe that lethal force is necessary. If they don't believe that lethal force is necessary then they aren't justified in using it.

This is VERY important to understand. You can't just rely on circumstances when it comes to justification for use of deadly force. Even if everything looks PERFECT from a legal standpoint--just looking at the scenario--if you get scared and blurt out that it was an accident or that you didn't mean to do it then you just destroyed your chance at claiming self-defense.
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Old December 28, 2021, 01:46 AM   #57
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NO, they would not. If they intend to use less than lethal force when they have the option of lethal force, they clearly do not believe that lethal force is necessary. If they don't believe that lethal force is necessary then they aren't justified in using it.
My understanding of "lethal" force is a force capable of causing death or great bodily harm ? I've never heard it described as force intended to kill the person . Point being is that lethal force is not saying you intend on killing someone only that the force you use "could" kill them . A good attorney or prosecutor should be able to argue just about any force could reasonably cause death .

As for cops hanging on and fighting with a suspect inside and partially outside the car . There was two cops other then Potter inside the car ( one on each side ) trying to stop Dauntay from putting the car in gear and driving ( propelling ) the car in any direction . It's my understanding the biggest mistake the cops made that day ( other then the obvious ) was to NOT close the drivers side door when Dauntay got out . Leaving the door open and trying to cuff him right next to that open door invited him to try to get back in the car . It did not help that the cops never instructed him to turn the vehicle off either . This allowed the danger to be greater when he got back in the car . Both cops ( not Potter ) testified they were doing everything they could to stop him from putting the car in gear . Maybe if the car was off and key on the dash they would of had that extra second or so to grab him from the car . However since the cars engine was running , all Write needed to do was put it in gear either in drive or worst reverse and all 3 cops would have been in grave danger of great bodily harm or death . This aspect of the stop was huge for the defense but it did not appear to effect the jury's verdict in there favor .

It's crazy to think that had those what appear to be simple mistakes ( turn the car off and close the drivers door ) not been made that whole incident would have likely turned out quite different . That's also hindsight is 20/20 as well .
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Old December 28, 2021, 02:28 AM   #58
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This is VERY important to understand. You can't just rely on circumstances when it comes to justification for use of deadly force. Even if everything looks PERFECT from a legal standpoint--just looking at the scenario--if you get scared and blurt out that it was an accident or that you didn't mean to do it then you just destroyed your chance at claiming self-defense.
I watched her lawyer present the final argument, it was obvious to me that they decided to throw themselves to the mercy of the court by being absolutely honest--which I do not think was the case in the other notorious trial. IMO, the "law" is not clear cut and much depends on the vagaries of how the technical aspects are interpreted and skillfully and persuasively presented at a trial. And how deep the well of gold is throw the best lawyers you can at the case.
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Old December 28, 2021, 06:09 AM   #59
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My understanding of "lethal" force is a force capable of causing death or great bodily harm ? I've never heard it described as force intended to kill the person . Point being is that lethal force is not saying you intend on killing someone only that the force you use "could" kill them .
I didn't attempt to define lethal force in my post.

Your definition is close to correct. It's not just capable of causing death or serious injury, but likely to do so.

So it's not just that it "could" kill them, it's that it is likely to cause death or serious injury.

But the real point is that if one has the option of using lethal force and chooses NOT to use it, they, by their actions, are stating that they don't believe lethal force is immediately necessary which ruins any attempt at justifying lethal force.
Quote:
A good attorney or prosecutor should be able to argue just about any force could reasonably cause death .
Just about any use of force could cause death, yes. But that's not the definition of lethal force. It's force that is likely to cause death or serious injury.
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This aspect of the stop was huge for the defense but it did not appear to effect the jury's verdict in there favor .
I just explained to you why it did not. Once Potter admitted that she didn't intend to use lethal force, there was no point in arguing that lethal force was justified. Lethal force is automatically NOT justified if you admit you didn't intend to use it.

It is sometimes justifiable to intentionally use lethal force, but it is NEVER justifiable to UNintentionally use lethal force.
Quote:
IMO, the "law" is not clear cut and much depends on the vagaries of how the technical aspects are interpreted and skillfully and persuasively presented at a trial. And how deep the well of gold is throw the best lawyers you can at the case.
The system isn't perfect, but if you believe it's totally useless then why would you waste your time arguing legalities.

If you don't believe understanding the law provides useful insight into how trials work and into their outcomes, then you shouldn't ever read or post in this subforum of TFL. It's a complete waste of your time. It's like frequenting a math forum when you have your own definition of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division that don't agree with the standard definitions. It's just going to frustrate you and everyone else.
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Old December 28, 2021, 06:10 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
My position remains that -- in general -- manslaughter is when someone kills another person without intending to kill them.
My understanding is that manslaughter requires criminal/culpable negligence. It's not simply any negligent killing of someone else without intent, or every civil wrongful death lawsuit would have a potential companion criminal charge. Civil lawsuits are always available to address simple mistakes in the absence of intent to do something which creates a specific risk where that risk is known.

The narrow issue of whether weapons confusion qualifies as criminal negligence is hotly disputed. There have been other taser confusion cases and they generally, though I'm not sure about all, result in involuntary manslaughter convictions. The question is, are those convictions legally justified? Analogies don't work very well; ordinary private citizens don't have this problem, since they carry guns or tasers but not both—except for a very small number of people who, one might argue, are playing cop.

It's one thing to say that guns create an enhanced duty of care such that any harm resulting from handling one is either intentional or criminally negligent. It's quite another thing to say that cops tasked with carrying both a firearm and a taser are criminally negligent if they confuse the two, which are both clearly gun-like, in a reactive situation.

I don't see how criminal liability applies, or what it accomplishes, in these cases. It's a cop training or department policy problem. Blaming cops seems like it makes it more likely to re-occur, because when it happens a department can say that the real responsibility lies with the stupid officer who drew the wrong weapon.

Criminal liability implies the cop was intentionally doing something wrong, even though they didn't intentionally draw the gun (that would be intentional homicide).

Isn't there a simple, logical policy and training program that would avoid all this? Tasers are not for reactive situations, period. If a cop doesn't have time to think taser, look at the taser, identify the taser, and finally draw, then what in the hell are they doing drawing a taser instead of a gun? Maybe tasers simply aren't appropriate. Maybe cops should go back to pepper spray, and departments should replace the extensive taser training and refreshers, that would be required to avoid weapon confusion cases, with grappling classes. 5whiskey hasn't drawn a taser in however many years of being a cop and resorting to an occasional fist-fight.

Perhaps tasers were a neat idea that don't really have a place, given their rather questionable effectiveness (probe spread, defeated by heavy clothing, some people simply less affected than others) even when they're fully functional, given weapon confusion due to their gun-like design, and given their non-zero lethality. In their defense, both fatality and serious injury rates from tasers are far lower than from guns, but significantly above pepper spray due to cardiac risks from the shocks, typically falling injuries (akin to fist-fight knockouts), and barb-related injuries. A LA times report from the 90's showed 61 fatalities nationally, 27 in California, resulting from police use of pepper spray between 1990 and 1995. https://archive.fo/vqSOc — Tasers, as far as I can tell, are several times more than that, but getting a good figure would require rates of death relative to deployments, not just comparison over the same number of years, and I think those data would be hard to come by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Being unprepared to do the job you're paid to do is, in my view, a conscious choice.
Doesn't that open a lot of people up to manslaughter charges whenever they fail in their professional capacity and people die? To use some recent examples, the engineers who designed (not the inspectors, who in theory might be criminally negligent) the FIU bridge and Champlain Towers South are all criminally negligent under your legal theory. Traditionally, civil courts handle that. That's the reason people argue about this. It creates a special duty only for cops to avoid making a mistake, or suffer potential prison time.

If this outcome is what the people want, for a specific profession, shouldn't it be written as a separate, strict liability, crime?

The law is not supposed to be subject to a jury's whims in both directions. Juries can legitimately nullify a law and vote to acquit in a case of obvious guilt under the law and the facts. Juries can't, or aren't supposed to even though they do sometimes, creatively reinterpret the law to find someone guilty when the state puts on no evidence of an element—in this case, awareness of risk required for criminal recklessness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
As for Potter's case, I don't see it fitting the criteria for first-degree manslaughter at all.
According to the NYT, the manslaughter 1 argument is via 609.20 (2), requiring a predicate misdemeanor, namely reckless handling of a firearm. The trouble is, she wasn't conscious of having a firearm in her hand at the time, which is a required element of recklessness, both reckless handling of a firearm required for manslaughter 1, and recklessness causing death required for manslaughter 2.

The prosecution didn't have any evidence I saw that use of a taser was unreasonable. Cops are privileged to use force to effect arrests. The prosecution couldn't cite a policy forbidding Taser use in that situation. The best they could do was a witness who said he didn't think it was "appropriate" use. That means nothing, legally. That witness was a lawyer; if he'd meant unreasonable, he'd have said unreasonable. The state also tried to argue that it was reckless because it could have interfered with driving, despite the car not being in gear at the time. That makes no sense, because if Daunte could have gotten the car into drive and hit the gas while being tased, the taser wouldn't have been working very well and wouldn't have been severely interfering with driving ability. Regardless, the wires are 25ft and break or detach beyond that.
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Old December 28, 2021, 11:57 AM   #61
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The prosecution didn't have any evidence I saw that use of a taser was unreasonable. Cops are privileged to use force to effect arrests.
The state's use of force expert not only said the use of a taser was not justified . He also said and later tried to walk it back , that the police should have just let Dauntay go and arrest him later because they had all his info so they knew where to find him .

The states use of force expert said because the car could be driven away by Dauntay and if impaired by a taser or gun shot . That would likely cause a danger to others if Dauntay were to crash the car somewhere else because he was unable to control the car do to his injuries . It did not help the defense that Dauntay after being shot did drive off and hit another vehicle head on only a block away resulting in injuries to the occupants of the other vehicle .

It was interesting how there use of force expert reasoning could have been the same reasoning the cops could have used to justify deadly force . That again brings up the idea of having Dauntay turn the car off after they stopped him . I don't think that testimony would have carried as much weight had he not been able to drive off and cause that other accident .

The other interesting aspect of the case was that Dauntay not only had a warrant out for a gun related charge . That charge/act was Dauntay threatening his roommate at gun point for the rent money resulting in a restraining order against Dauntay as well . His roommate the person the restraining order was for was female and the unknown passenger in the car was also female . When the warrant and restraining order came back after running Dauntay's name . The cops had to both arrest Dauntay and figure out if the female in the car was the same female the restraining order was for . The cops were unable to figure out who the passenger was before Dauntay started resisting so as far as they knew the passenger was the female on the restraining order .

That was another factor that seemed to indicate simply letting Dauntay drive off with the unknown female in the car was not acceptable . It seemed to me the jury ignored many favorable factors for the defense that seem to indicate there was no way they could let Dauntay go as he resisted arrest as the states expert witness seemed to indicate should have been done .
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Old December 28, 2021, 03:43 PM   #62
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That was another factor that seemed to indicate simply letting Dauntay drive off with the unknown female in the car was not acceptable . It seemed to me the jury ignored many favorable factors for the defense that seem to indicate there was no way they could let Dauntay go as he resisted arrest as the states expert witness seemed to indicate should have been done .
It's moot. Even if they should have stopped him, and even if the circumstances warranted deadly force, the fact that Potter immediately admitted she didn't mean to shoot him was an ender from a legal standpoint. That admission was an admission of guilt. From there it was just a matter of what the sentence would be.

IMO, they went with a jury trial instead of pleading guilty because there was at least a small chance that the jury might feel sorry for her and let her off. But the question of guilt or innocence was settled at the point on the video where she said she didn't mean to shoot him.

Remember, it's sometimes justifiable to use deadly force intentionally, but it is never justifiable to use it unintentionally.
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Old December 28, 2021, 03:55 PM   #63
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It's moot. Even if they should have stopped him, and even if the circumstances warranted deadly force, the fact that Potter immediately admitted she didn't mean to shoot him was an ender from a legal standpoint. That admission was an admission of guilt. From there it was just a matter of what the sentence would be.
Many Lawyers on the net seem to say the charges she was convicted on need the conscious disregard or Potter knowing what she was about to do would cause death or great bodily harm . There claim is that she did not know/realize she had her gun instead of the taser . Therefore she could not have been conscious the act she was about to commit would result in Dauntay's death ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZUW-BBPGM0

Any thoughts ?
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Old December 28, 2021, 04:18 PM   #64
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There's no question that she used lethal force--she shot him.
There's no question she did not mean to--she admitted that at the scene.
There's no question, therefore, that her use of lethal force was not justifiable.

The only questions left are:
Does that rise to the level of a criminal offense, and if so, which one(s) and what should the sentence be?
Quote:
Many Lawyers on the net seem to say the charges she was convicted on need the conscious disregard or Potter knowing what she was about to do would cause death or great bodily harm.
No matter what you believe, you can find someone else who believes the same thing on the internet. In fact, out of the 5 billion people on the internet, you can likely find "many" people who believe it. Whether it's true or not. And you can find even more people who will say they believe it if they think it will get them more page views/clicks.

I'm not going to get into the weeds of parsing manslaughter laws--I'll just say this: I did just a few minutes of research and found a number of cases where officers were convicted for doing what Potter did and posted some of them on this thread.

What does that say about a lawyer who is, or pretends to be, surprised at the outcome of the Potter case?
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Old December 28, 2021, 06:11 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by JohnKSa
There's no question that she used lethal force--she shot him.
There's no question she did not mean to--she admitted that at the scene.
There's no question, therefore, that her use of lethal force was not justifiable.
You're glossing over the fact that cops can end up doing this without criminal negligence, whereas almost nobody else can. Virtually nobody else carries two gun-like weapons. Everyone else who accidentally shoots someone was at a minimum intentionally handling a gun and intentionally ignoring multiple safety rules regarding guns. That satisfies the recklessness element for criminal culpability within involuntary manslaughter.

When it's a cop reacting to a situation that's gone sideways, if the prosecution isn't going to dispute that the weapon confusion was a genuine accident—and they didn't dispute it in this case—how do you get to criminal responsibility?

I agree other cases of this sort have ended in involuntary manslaughter convictions, but we'd have to dig into those specific cases, and we don't have an easily and freely available record to look at to find out what the two sides argued at trial.

I don't see any argument on why prosecuting cops for these cases—if the prosecution has no hope of proving it wasn't an accident—is in the interest of justice or in the public interest. If we don't want cops to mix up guns and tasers, the answer is to train them better, or to take tasers away from them so they resort to some other non-lethal or less-lethal weapon which can't be easily confused with a gun in the chaos of dealing with a suspect who's trying to get away and potentially putting others in danger doing so.
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Old December 28, 2021, 06:27 PM   #66
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You're glossing over the fact that cops can end up doing this without criminal negligence, whereas almost nobody else can.
Well, for one thing, I wasn't addressing that issue at all.

Second, not only did Potter not get away with it, I provided a list above, the result of just a few minutes of online searching, of other cops that were convicted of shooting someone when they meant to use a taser.

So cops do get convicted for killing people by accident. I have no way of comparing that with how often non-LEOs get convicted for accidental killings. If you have some comparison data, I'd be very interested to see it.
Quote:
When it's a cop reacting to a situation that's gone sideways, if the prosecution isn't going to dispute that the weapon confusion was a genuine accident—and they didn't dispute it in this case—how do you get to criminal responsibility?
I'm not sure I understand the question. You get to criminal responsibility just as was done in this case where the prosecution didn't dispute that weapons confusion was a genuine accident. They said that a person with her training and experience shouldn't have confused the two and the fact that she did was criminal.
Quote:
I don't see any argument on why prosecuting cops for these cases—if the prosecution has no hope of proving it wasn't an accident—is in the interest of justice or in the public interest.
I didn't make one. Others have on this thread, and I tend to agree with them. We train cops and give them special powers. We expect that training and those special powers to provide positive returns to society--and that doesn't include killing people by accident in situations where they are specifically trained not to.
Quote:
...the answer is to train them better, or to take tasers away from them so they resort to some other non-lethal or less-lethal weapon which can't be easily confused with a gun in the chaos of dealing with a suspect who's trying to get away and potentially putting others in danger doing so.
Everyone's got solutions for how this won't happen again, and some of them are good ones. But what happens in the future doesn't really have any bearing on the culpability of what Potter did in the past.
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Old December 28, 2021, 06:46 PM   #67
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I'm not going to get into the weeds of parsing manslaughter laws--I'll just say this: I did just a few minutes of research and found a number of cases where officers were convicted for doing what Potter did and posted some of them on this thread.

What does that say about a lawyer who is, or pretends to be, surprised at the outcome of the Potter case?
Were those cases in the same state and jurisdiction this case was therefore bound by case law for said state ? The link I provided specifically addresses or so he believes addresses Potters case specifically . He went over that states specific statute and how case law has interpreted it and sites the case for review . I'll go back and see if your links do the same , sorry if I missed that that they do .

FWIW and I think I've said it , I think she is guilty of something and should do some time . I'm simply trying to understand the law and how it's interpreted .

I said it in the Rittenhouse case where it did not matter what he said . Yes I meant to kill Rosenbaum , No I never meant to kill Rosenbaum both found him guilty of something . I found it very interesting that there was a no win answer there . It seems Potter was faced with the same issue ? What if she said yes I meant to shoot him ? Then how do you explain the taser taser taser comment ?
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Old December 28, 2021, 07:06 PM   #68
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It seems Potter was faced with the same issue ? What if she said yes I meant to shoot him ? Then how do you explain the taser taser taser comment ?
I was sympathetic to her until she took the stand. She trashed her entire defense team when she said "I didn't mean to hurt anybody!"

Her defense had built a credible case that lethal force was justified, but she destroyed it right there.

As a juror, I would have been angry at her. Why did she drag me through this whole ordeal to confess on the witness stand and then expect acquittal?

And all the internet expert lawyers that I've followed are pretty worthless. Branca has a whole 'miscarriage of justice' article up and the other guy quoted elsewhere is carrying about how this conviction has sent a message to cops not to stop criminals who resist.

Which is garbage, imo. The message sent here is to keep your GD mouth shut if something like that happens.

Potter convicted herself. She gave the jury no out.
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Old December 28, 2021, 07:12 PM   #69
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The link I provided specifically addresses or so he believes addresses Potters case specifically . He went over that states specific statute and how case law has interpreted it and sites the case for review .
If he's right, she should appeal and should win her appeal.

Ok, I said I don't want to parse manslaughter law, and I don't.

That said, going back to your video link, I see at least one problem with his analysis.

He claims that if there's no intent then it can't be culpable negligence--that people aren't punished criminally for making mistakes when there's no intent. However, clearly there are sections of the MN manslaughter statute allows conviction even when there's no obvious intent.

There's a section that allows conviction for manslaughter for shooting someone while hunting believing them to be an animal--but that clearly involves no intent. Being careless in identifying a game animal doesn't mean you want to hurt someone.

There's a section that allows conviction for manslaughter for failing to properly confine a dangerous animal. Clearly that could happen without intent. Failing to properly maintain an enclosure doesn't mean you have intent.

There's a section that allows the conviction for manslaughter of someone who "without intent to cause death" makes a Schedule 3, 4 or V substance available to someone who later dies from it. You don't have to have intent to harm but you will still be criminally responsible.

Since he says that the principle of intent to do harm is fundamental to the rest of the video, that seems problematic to me.
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I said it in the Rittenhouse case where it did not matter what he said . Yes I meant to kill Rosenbaum , No I never meant to kill Rosenbaum both found him guilty of something . I found it very interesting that there was a no win answer there .
There was a good answer and he gave it on the stand. He said he meant to stop the attack.

You can't ever admit to not meaning to use deadly force if you want to claim justifiable use of deadly force. The justifiable use of deadly force is ALWAYS an intentional act.

You shouldn't ever admit to meaning to kill someone in a justifiable homicide because justifiable use of deadly force isn't about killing someone, it's about preventing someone from committing a very serious crime when there's no other alternative but to use deadly force.

But that doesn't mean there's no answer for why you used lethal force. You used it to stop a violent attack--just as the law allows you to do when there are no other reasonable alternatives.
Quote:
It seems Potter was faced with the same issue ? What if she said yes I meant to shoot him ? Then how do you explain the taser taser taser comment ?
You changed a CRITICALLY important word in this question compared to the previous commentary in your post.

Admitting that you meant to SHOOT someone is very different from admitting that you meant to KILL them.

Potter could have admitted that she meant to shoot him (well--not in this case because it was clear she did not and because she admitted she did not immediately after the shooting on video) and then she would have had to show that the circumstances of the situation fit the definition in the law for justifiable homicide. Maybe she could have done that, maybe not, but at least she would have had a chance. Once she admitted that she didn't mean to use deadly force, then it was pretty much over with.
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Old December 28, 2021, 08:12 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Metal god
I said it in the Rittenhouse case where it did not matter what he said . Yes I meant to kill Rosenbaum , No I never meant to kill Rosenbaum both found him guilty of something .
But Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges, so apparently what he said did matter.
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Old December 28, 2021, 09:16 PM   #71
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I'm not sure I understand the question. You get to criminal responsibility just as was done in this case where the prosecution didn't dispute that weapons confusion was a genuine accident. They said that a person with her training and experience shouldn't have confused the two and the fact that she did was criminal.
When I heard about this case originally, I did look around, found a couple of those other taser weapon confusion cases, I think ones you referenced, and saw that they ended up as involuntary manslaughter convictions. I thought that was that, and didn't think much more about it. It seemed natural to me, as someone who has never owned or carried a taser, that intentionally drawing a gun and shooting someone by mistake automatically created criminal liability. That's because I couldn't conceive that a gun could end up in my hand without intent to draw it. I didn't bother trying to parse the culpable negligence standard.

But then I started seeing the contrary opinion, and I started thinking more carefully.

If you carry two gun-like objects, and you're under stress, it's totally possible for you to draw the gun by mistake without intent to do so. You'd be drawing and firing the less-lethal taser via muscle memory and very limited conscious perception. Whether you end up shooting someone depends on luck and training. Luck was not on Potter's side. Her department supplied her training, and it was insufficient.

She was an outlier, no doubt. Cops who suffer weapon confusion are outliers, but being an outlier is not their fault. If police departments could predict who's an outlier, then they could fire them or give them better training. They can't, and yet the existence of these outliers is still predictable, so they will continue to show up until tasers are eliminated or better training is mandated for everyone. Which goes to what I wrote in my wall-of-text post earlier. I think tasers, if they're going to require substantial ongoing training to avoid an occasional instance of weapon confusion, might be inferior to grappling instruction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghbucky
I was sympathetic to her until she took the stand. She trashed her entire defense team when she said "I didn't mean to hurt anybody!"

Her defense had built a credible case that lethal force was justified, but she destroyed it right there.
Maybe her defense screwed up by being too nuanced.

Their argument wasn't that it was a lethal force self defense case. Their argument, as I interpreted it, was something like:

1. The state's claim that use of a taser was reckless is absurd, because the situation objectively justified even more force than Potter used, and the risk of a traffic accident seems clearly more severe in the case of someone bleeding out from a gunshot than in the case of a taser where there's no gradual incapacitation over time and it stops working beyond 25 feet. Yet cops shoot people who are behind a wheel all the time when there are additional safety considerations beyond garden variety fleeing a traffic stop, which there were in this case: they didn't know if the woman in the passenger seat was the one who had a restraining order against him, and Daunte had a bench warrant on a gun charge.

2. Criminal recklessness in its theoretical construction requires four steps: First, you take an action that creates an abnormal risk. Second, you ignore the increased risk and don't mitigate it some other way. Third, a bad thing happens. Fourth, your creation of a risk and failure to mitigate it led to the bad thing happening.

The argument following from part 2 takes some contemplation, but... in a case like this, where bad thing—shooting Daunte with a gun—was already potentially legally justified, any risk Potter may have created under some legal theory proposed by the prosecution (I still don't see what she did to create any undue risk) was not an undue risk because Daunte's own actions created the risk he'd be shot, so she had no duty to mitigate that risk, so the accidental shooting wasn't criminally reckless, whatever else it might've been.

###

There's a lot of repetition of the standard legal argument for justified use of lethal force. Obviously she fails the subjective perception requirement. If she used that defense, she'd be guilty. This case wasn't about a justified lethal force affirmative defense! It was a sort of a mistake-of-fact claim to gut the intentional disregard of risk element of both charges! Those two defenses are mutually exclusive! Given the bodycam footage, if she'd taken the stand and said she did intend lethal force and believed it was justified, she'd be lying. Lying about intent or subjective perception when on the stand in a homicide trial would be a good way to get a murder charge added, and get convicted on it, since you'd lose all sympathy and credibility in the eyes of the jury.

There are some special-case homicide laws that are strict liability. Mistake-of-fact wouldn't apply to those. Regular manslaughter charges are not strict liability.

Here's a weapon confusion case that was dismissed, dismissed, from another state in 2019:

https://www2.ljworld.com/news/public...ed-recklessly/

If she'd intentionally drawn the gun, a higher duty of care immediately applies, but nobody draws a gun unless they're preparing to engage in lethal force so it becomes a completely different case with no recklessness. She didn't intentionally have anything to do with the gun, so it's inappropriate to try to draw parallels to gun handling accidents, "thought it was unloaded when I pointed it and pulled the trigger" accidents. Alec Baldwin knew he was holding a real gun, capable of firing real ammo. Potter did not. She thought she was drawing a taser. Use of a taser, notwithstanding the shady prosecution witness, was justified. There's no recklessness there, because there's no conscious intent to do anything wrong or create an undue risk. Daunte was creating all the risk, and that continued through to the shooting. Daunte's actions were, in a sense, intervening acts even after Potter drew the wrong weapon but had not yet fired. But for Daunte's continuing criminal actions, resisting lawful arrest and putting officers in danger, Potter wouldn't have been stressed or gotten tunnel vision and wouldn't have continued to believe that she had a taser in her hand, and also wouldn't have ended up pulling the trigger.
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Old December 28, 2021, 09:55 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
2. Criminal recklessness in its theoretical construction requires four steps: First, you take an action that creates an abnormal risk.
Without having concluded that use of deadly force was merited, she fired her pistol into someone. The abnormal risk is that he might die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
Second, you ignore the increased risk and don't mitigate it some other way.
Noting what she had in her hand would have mitigated the risk if it had kept her from firing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
Third, a bad thing happens.
I don't believe this element is disputed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
Fourth, your creation of a risk and failure to mitigate it led to the bad thing happening.
Drawing her pistol and failing to notice that she had drawn her pistol appear to have led to the shooting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
The argument following from part 2 takes some contemplation, but... in a case like this, where bad thing—shooting Daunte with a gun—was already potentially legally justified, any risk Potter may have created under some legal theory proposed by the prosecution (I still don't see what she did to create any undue risk) was not an undue risk because Daunte's own actions created the risk he'd be shot,...
The problem is that Potter herself didn't agree. She wasn't under the impression that this fellow was Jacob Blake, but that he just needed to be tased to be subdued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
... so she had no duty to mitigate that risk, so the accidental shooting wasn't criminally reckless, whatever else it might've been.
Where someone perceives no threat that calls for use of deadly force, the idea that one has no duty to mitigate the risk of death seems to open a door better left closed.
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Old December 28, 2021, 10:36 PM   #73
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Without having concluded that use of deadly force was merited,
Every LEO on scene that testified said they believed deadly force was warranted and 3 of those were prosecution witnesses . The only person that testified use of deadly force or even less then deadly force was not warranted was the prosecutions use of force expert . Who I might add has only testified against the police in every case involving police he testified in . Never as an expert has he testified that a police officers use of force was justified . The defense expert had testified for and against police several times . The funniest thing was when it was learned the very book the prosecutions expert used to conclude using the taser was not justified . Well it turns out the defense witness was the one who wrote it lol . Needless to say the author said something to the effect the state was taking some of what was in the book out of context . I did not see much of his testimony though so I don't have a full memory of what he testified to .

Quote:
Drawing her pistol and failing to notice that she had drawn her pistol appear to have led to the shooting.
IMO That is 100% wrong . What lead to the shooting was

Dauntay driving a car with expired tags who's owner had a warrant out for there arrest
Dauntay's car smelling of pot with visible signs of pot on the center consul .
Dauntay threatening someone at gun point resulting in a restraining order
Dauntay's failure to appear for a gun charge resulting in a bench warrant being filed
Dauntay resisting arrest and trying to flee while police were hanging from the car actively trying to stop him .

That is what "lead" to the shooting .

I don't see how anyone can reasonably ignore all of the above and go straight to it's all Potters fault she caused everything to escalate out of control .
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Old December 28, 2021, 11:32 PM   #74
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Her department supplied her training, and it was insufficient.
Maybe that's an issue she can try to raise at her appeal, but I doubt she will have success with it. Maybe if it had been raised earlier (as in before someone died) it might have gone somewhere, but trying to shift the blame after the fact is pretty tough. Even if the department changes their training as a result, it won't make any difference to Potter's case.
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I don't see how anyone can reasonably ignore all of the above and go straight to it's all Potters fault she caused everything to escalate out of control .
Nobody is saying Pottter "caused everything to escalate out of control".

Wright certainly bears responsibility for things getting to the point that restraint was called for, but that wouldn't have led to a shooting--it would have led to a tasing--except that Potter drew her gun by mistake.
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Every LEO on scene that testified said they believed deadly force was warranted and 3 of those were prosecution witnesses .
It. Does. Not. Matter.

The fact that she admitted that she did not intend to use deadly force OBLITERATES/DESTROYS/ELIMINATES/PREVENTS any chance of proving that deadly force could possibly be justified.

The circumstances of the situation can not, in and of themselves, justify the use of deadly force. The reasonable belief of the person who is using it that it is immediately necessary is NECESSARY/REQUIRED to prove justification.
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Old December 28, 2021, 11:54 PM   #75
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The fact that she admitted that she did not intend to use deadly force OBLITERATES/DESTROYS/ELIMINATES/PREVENTS any chance of proving that deadly force could possibly be justified.
This!

She not only admitted to this post-shooting, she reiterated that she had no intent to harm Duante on the stand during the trial.

SHE CONFESSED TO A CRIMINAL ACT DURING THE TRIAL.
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