Man charged with allegedly harassing judge overseeing Potter case

Man was part of protest group urging judge to allow cameras in courtroom when he allegedly entered judge's apartment building

People sit behind desks in a courtroom.
Judge Regina Chu gives instructions to prospective jurors on the first day of jury selection in the trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter on Tuesday. A man is facing a felony harassment charge for allegedly protesting outside the judge's home.
Screenshot of Court TV video

A man is facing a felony harassment charge for allegedly protesting outside the home of a judge presiding over the manslaughter trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says on Nov. 6, Cortez Aaron Rice, 32, entered a Minneapolis apartment building and went to the floor where he believed Judge Regina Chu lives. 

As other protesters waited outside, Rice livestreamed on YouTube and demanded that Chu allow video coverage of Potter's trial. Potter is charged in the April shooting death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man.

Three days later Chu issued an order granting media requests for cameras in the courtroom. In her order, Chu addressed the protests.

“The recent protest at the presiding judge’s home needs to be addressed,” Chu wrote in her order. “The unfortunate timing suggests the protest had an impact on the court’s decision to allow A/V coverage. The honest answer is the protest did not have any impact on the court’s decision, nor should it.” 

Chu added that she based her decision on rising COVID-19 case numbers, not the protest. 

Rice himself went before Judge Chu in October, where she found him in violation of his probation on a 2017 felony gun conviction.

Rice was arrested in Wisconsin and remains jailed in Waukesha County. 

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