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Defense in Kimberly Potter trial to focus on ‘innocent mistake’

Plus: COVID surge causing serious delays for patients with non-COVID health issues; Lake Harriet band shell repairs are on the way; St. Paul City Council members say Carter’s property-tax-assistance proposal ‘not ready for prime-time’; and more.

Rochelle Olson writes in the Star Tribune: “Kimberly Potter’s attorneys acknowledge that the former Brooklyn Center officer killed Daunte Wright last April when she reached for her handgun instead of her Taser and fired a single shot into his chest. But as jury selection for Potter’s manslaughter trial in the 20-year-old Black man’s death nears, their defense lies within the veteran police officer’s lack of intent. They say her miscalculation, grave as it was, should not equal a prison sentence. … ‘Innocent accident’ and ‘innocent mistake,’ will be themes in Potter’s defense ….

For MPR, Catharine Rickert reports: “COVID hospitalizations have taken a sharp turn upward, a trend that health officials say could have been avoided if more people had been vaccinated. Staff shortages are contributing to a shortage of available hospital beds, too. … Patients coming in with non-COVID health issues — like strokes or heart attacks — are waiting hours and sometimes days in the ER while doctors scramble to find space for them at hospitals that can give them higher levels of care.”

Mary McGuire reports for FOX 9: “Hundreds protested the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon. The demonstration began at the Hennepin County Government Center with a group of about 250 people. They later marched through the streets, blocking traffic, and shutting down several intersections for a short time.”

Nick Ferraro writes in the Pioneer Press: “Both by choice and not, Anthony Johnson has been right there alongside those who are experiencing homelessness. For the past 15 months, he has been among Ramsey County staff working at Best Western Capitol Ridge, a COVID-19 emergency homeless shelter near downtown St. Paul that the county set up in July of last year for those 55 and older. … Work at Capitol Ridge is coming to an end, however, as the county has decided to shutter the 125-room shelter on Nov. 30.”

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Also in the Star Tribune, Susan Du writes: “Strolling periodically through Lake Harriet Park, Richard Brozic noticed that the roof of the band shell had become increasingly derelict over the last few years, with dark cavities where numerous wood shingles have rotted and fallen off.… Park staff said they are well aware of the problems, and though the entire park system has capital needs, repairs are on the way.”

Frederick Melo writes in the Pioneer Press: “When St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter unveiled a budget proposal that called for a 6.9 percent increase in the city’s property tax levy next year, he also promised to fund direct assistance to low-income homeowners to help them weather their property tax increases. The St. Paul City Council recently heard a presentation on the details, and several members expressed concerns.… Council President Amy Brendmoen said as the daughter of a single mother, she spent years in public housing before her family moved into their own property … but the mayor’s initiative was ‘not ready for prime-time.’”