Black Lives Matter Activist Charged with Intimidating Ex-Cop Kim Potter’s Trial Judge

A Black Lives Matter activist has been charged with attempting to intimidate the trial judge in the case against former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter.

Former Brooklyn Center cop Potter is facing manslaughter charges over the April shooting of Daunte Wright.

32-year-old Cortez Rice has been charged with felony harassment with aggravated violations — tampering with a juror or retaliating against a judicial officer, KSTP reported. 

Rice was taken into custody in Waukesha County, Wisconsin on Monday.

The criminal complaint was kept sealed until Friday. 

He is awaiting extradition back to Minnesota to face the charges out of Hennepin County and will be held at Waukesha County Jail in the meantime.

It’s not clear why he was in Waukesha – but the area has been getting national news attention since the deadly Christmas parade attack the weekend before Thanksgiving.

On November 6, Rice is accused of taking part in a BLM protest outside a downtown Minneapolis condominium complex.

Rice and other activists reportedly believed the building is where Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu lived.

The mob allegedly wanted to intimidate the judge into allowing a camera inside the courtroom for Potter’s trial.

According to the criminal complaint, Rice entered the building near Minneapolis’ Loring Park while live-streaming himself on YouTube.

“We on her heels,” he is heard saying in the video, according to court documents.

“What she think … we want cameras. The people deserve to know.”

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Once outside the door of a 12th-floor unit, he allegedly stated, “I don’t know if this is her crib. I think this is her crib right here. We got confirmation that this is her house right here.”

It’s unclear if the unit belonged to Chu at the time or if she was present during the incident. 

The livestream laced with profanity also captured Rice threatening, “We are here for one person in particular.”

He later shouted Chu’s name and called out, “We demand transparency. We’d hate you to get kicked out of your apartment,” the complaint obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune says. 

A different protester is heard saying the demonstration was just a “trial run” and they’d be back.

Interviewed by police afterward, Chu told investigators it “was her belief the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process,” the complaint says, according to KARE. 

The warrant for Rice’s arrest was issued on Nov. 24.

Chu had initially ruled in August that she would not allow recording or live streaming of Potter’s trial.

Days after the incident involving protesters targeting what was believed to be her home, the judge cited the state of the coronavirus pandemic and the delta variant in her reversal in now permitting the live stream.

Jury selection for Potter’s trial wrapped last week and opening arguments begin Wednesday. 

In changing course about the live stream, Chu wrote in her Nov. 9 ruling that the timing of the protest was unfortunate but had no impact on her decision.

She affirmed, “The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we must have an independent judiciary and judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing, protests or attempts at intimidation.” 

About a month before the incident, Rice had appeared before Chu on Oct. 4 after allegedly violating his probation following a 2017 conviction for illegal weapons possession.

Court records show the judge at that time ruled to allow Rice to continue probation instead of sending him back behind bars. 

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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