Man accused of harassing judge in trial of ex-officer charged in Daunte Wright's death




  • In US
  • 2021-12-06 17:44:53Z
  • By NBC News

A Minnesota man was arrested and charged with harassing the judge presiding over the Kim Potter trial after he livestreamed himself entering the building he believed to be her home, police said.

Cortez Rice, 32, was part of a group of protesters who gathered outside a home they believed Judge Regina Chu lived in on Nov. 6., demanding cameras and audio devices be allowed in the courtroom for the Potter trial, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County.

Potter, a former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer, is accused of fatally shooting Daunte Wright, a Black motorist, when she confused her handgun for her Taser during an April traffic stop. Opening statements in the trial for Potter, charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in Wright's death, are set for Wednesday.

Image: (AP)
Image: (AP)  

Chu initially barred cameras from being allowed in the courtroom, but later changed her stance on Nov. 9, allowing the proceedings to be televised citing Covid concerns as a reason.

The protest on Nov. 6 decried her initial order. Cortez allegedly entered the apartment building and went up to the 12th floor to a unit he believed belonged to her, according to the criminal complaint.

"The Defendant live-streamed on YouTube while doing so," authorities wrote in the document.

The footage appeared to show him standing in an interior hallway of the building.

"We on her heels," he said, according to the complaint. "... We want cameras. The people deserve to know."

While standing outside an apartment door, he said, "I think this is her crib right here."

Cortez later walked down to the lobby and protesters asked if they were at the correct location. "That's her window on the 12th floor," he said, according to the complaint.

He was heard yelling: "We demand transparency. We'd hate you to get kicked out of your apartment."

Chu was interviewed by authorities in the investigation and said "she believed she was the target of the Defendant and the other protesters. She further stated that it was her belief the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process," the complaint stated.

Rice was taken into custody in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, on Nov. 29 after being pulled over for speeding, NBC affiliate KARE reported. He remains in Waukesha County Jail, according to jail records.

Rice was charged through a warrant issued Nov. 24 with felony harassment with aggravated violations, tampering with a juror and retaliating against a judicial officer.

He waived extradition and will be returned to Hennepin County to face the charge, KARE reported.

A lawyer for Rice could not be immediately located.

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