x
Breaking News
More () »

Protesters target home of judge in Kim Potter case

One activist filmed himself going right up to the door of what he said was the home of Judge Regina Chu, demanding cameras in the courtroom for the upcoming trial.

MINNEAPOLIS — Jury selection starts in three weeks in the Kim Potter trial, the former officer charged with manslaughter for shooting Daunte Wright.

But authorities are concerned about an incident over the weekend in which protesters targeted the judge presiding over the case at her home.

Unlike the Derek Chauvin trial, so far Judge Regina Chu is not allowing cameras in the courtroom for Potter's trial. And on Saturday night, protesters went all the way to what they believed was her front door – in a scene that was upsetting to a lot of people.

The live stream begins with activist Cortez Rice on the floor of what he says is Judge Regina Chu's condo.

"We got confirmation that this is her house right here," Rice says with his camera fixed on a door. "The judge is staying in this nice, predominantly white neighborhood in this nice, little white building."

Rice lingers by the door then yells out the hallway window at other protesters.

He finally walks outside after a resident on the floor questions him.

Looking into the camera, Rice mocks the neighbor, repeating "'Is there a reason why you're yelling out the window?' Yeah, to let the gang know we're up in this b****."

Outside, Rice joined about 20 other protesters yelling for Judge Chu to allow cameras in the courtroom for the Potter trial.

"We need those cameras in the courtroom, lady," Rice yells after telling his companions that he could see Judge Chu looking out a window.

After reviewing the video, former Chief Judge of Hennepin County District Court Kevin Burke had strong words for what he saw.

"I understand the First Amendment. I understand people have a right to protest. But you want to have a protest that's effective. And this is a monumentally stupid way to go about to express your opinion," Burke said.

Burke, now retired, says the tactic is ineffective because no judge would make a ruling out of intimidation for the obvious precedent it would set.

"It is not at all designed to be an effective protest. It's just popping off in a pretty dumb way," Burke said.

The protesters outside confronted other residents coming and going from the building. Many people inside the condo called 911 and Minneapolis Police are now looking into it. 

Rice deleted his livestream but returned online Monday to defend his actions, claiming he was not intimidating Judge Chu.

"It's very unfortunate for y'all little-minded people," Rice said on his latest livestream.

A statement from a court administration spokesperson said, "Judge Chu is unable to comment on pending cases or possible investigations into the activities."

The statement went on to say, "Chief Judge Barnette is in contact with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and he is confident in the security and safety plans that they have in place for the State v. Potter trial. Chief Judge Barnette will not comment on any modifications to the security and safety plans at this time."

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement, "Our agency is very experienced with high-profile trials. We are committed to the safety of everyone who enters a Hennepin County courthouse, and to protecting the First Amendment rights of those who come to make their voices heard."