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Four jurors selected on first day of Potter trial

Plus: Biden touts infrastructure bill during visit to Dakota County Technical College; federal civil rights trial of former MPD officers indicted in connection to George Floyd’s killing slated to begin in January; UPS facility in Duluth ‘ransacked’; and more.

Kimberly A. Potter
Hennepin County Jail
Kimberly A. Potter
Nina Moini, Jon Collins and Matt Sepic report for MPR: “Prosecutors, defense attorneys and a Hennepin County judge on Tuesday began the painstaking work to pick a jury in the trial of Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer charged in the killing of Daunte Wright. By the end of the day, four jurors had been chosen out of the 12 jurors and two alternates that will be needed before opening statements, which are expected to start on Dec. 8. Potter attorney Paul Engh also made it clear that his client will take the stand and testify in her own defense during the trial.

A FOX 9 story says, “As jury selection began on Tuesday for the Kim Potter trial in the death of Daunte Wright, a protest honoring Wright outside the Hennepin County Government Center was disrupted as a driver forced their car through a crowd. A FOX 9 photojournalist covering the rally witnessed the driver move through the protest shortly after 5 p.m., as marchers moved through the streets of downtown Minneapolis. … it appears the driver forced the car through the crowd as marchers yelled for them to stop. One marcher ended up on the roof of the vehicle and gripped onto the top until the driver slowed near the next intersection.”

Also at FOX 9, Theo Keith reports: “President Joe Biden used his first trip to Minnesota as president to promote the recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure law and to press Congress for an even bigger climate change and social spending package. The brisk visit, which saw the president spend just three hours on the ground, was to Minnesota’s Second congressional district, likely of the nation’s most competitive districts headed into the 2022 midterm elections. Biden noted how U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, who has held the seat since 2019, was a supporter of the newly signed legislation. Biden toured the heavy trucking program at Dakota County Technical College before speaking to a small, masked audience of about 90 people that included numerous elected officials and representatives of the college.”

At CNN, Andrew Kaczynski reports, “Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado suggested to a crowd in September that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whom she called ‘black-hearted’ and ‘evil,’ was a terrorist. … It’s another instance in which Boebert suggested Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, was a terrorist. On Monday, the two lawmakers sent dueling statements about a phone call between the pair set up by Boebert after she apologized last week to “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended,” when similar comments surfaced on social media. The video of Boebert’s anti-Muslim comments, made in New York at a September Staten Island Conservative Party dinner, were posted on Facebook that month by an attendee running for borough president.”

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The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix reports, “A federal civil rights trial for the four former Minneapolis police officers indicted in connection to George Floyd’s killing is on track to begin in January. No official start date has been set, but on Nov. 18, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson mailed out jury questionnaires ordering prospective jurors to report to the courthouse on Jan. 20 for what promises to be another grueling selection process. The trial for Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane will run from ‘mid-January to mid-February’, Magnuson said, according to a copy of the summons packet obtained by the Star Tribune.”

A Duluth News Tribune story says, “The main UPS facility in Duluth was ‘ransacked’ during a break-in Sunday afternoon, police said. Officers were called to the warehouse and customer service center at 111 Port Terminal Drive on the report of a burglary at approximately 5:40 p.m., according to a statement from the Duluth Police Department. The officers ‘located multiple items that were ransacked through’ and the department’s crime scene investigations team was called in to provide assistance.”

A Joe Nelson story for Bring Me The News says, “The intensive care units at 50 of 68 Minnesota hospitals capable of providing critical care to patients are completely full, according to the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health. Overall, there are enough skilled nursing staff to care for an additional 27 patients who need to be treated in an ICU in Minnesota. The state’s hospital system currently has an adult ICU capacity of 1,012, of which 985 beds are currently occupied – 35% of whom are COVID-19 patients. … This is the result of the rise of the delta variant, which spreads easily from person-to-person and is capable of causing more severe disease, especially among the unvaccinated.”

The Forum News Service reports: “A rural Dent man was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders after being discovered stuck in an air duct at his home on Monday, according to the Otter Tail County sheriff’s office in northwestern Minnesota. Shortly before 10 a.m., the sheriff’s office received an emergency call from family members of the 40-year-old man, who was discovered stuck in the air duct. The man had not responded to any messages or phone calls for several days. Dent firefighters, the Perham ambulance service and Otter Tail County deputies were dispatched to the scene and, upon arriving, determined the man to be deceased. According to a news release, the death appears to be accidental but remains under investigation.”

A WCCO-TV story by Caroline Cummings says, “Minnesota ranks second in the nation for booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 30% receiving additional shots as experts race to understand an emerging viral variant and blunt its impact. … Dr. Michael Osterholm, director the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said experts are still learning about the Omicron, like how it interacts with vaccinated people and the severity of illness it causes. But he said the early evidence is clear and of concern. ‘It’s highly infectious, likely is going to beat out Delta to become what I call basically the ‘king of the virus hill,’ Osterholm said.”

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