BLM Protester Charged With Threatening Judge Presiding Over Racially Charged Kim Potter Trial
The Black Lives Matter protester charged with threatening the judge presiding over the trial for former police officer Kim Potter in the shooting of Daunte Wright has been extradited to Minnesota ahead of his first court appearance Tuesday.
Suspect Cortez Rice, 32, from Minneapolis, is now being held at Hennepin County Jail on a $50,000 bond according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Wisconsin State Patrol pulled Rice over on Nov. 30 for speeding, he was taken into custody when it was discovered that he was driving without a valid driver’s license, Rice was transported from Waukesha County Jail back to Minnesota Monday night.
Rice is charged with felony harassment, aggravated violations, tampering with a juror, and retaliating against a judicial officer, in connection to a Nov. 6 protest at an apartment building he and other demonstrators believed to be the place where Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu lives.
Chu had initially issued an order banning cameras from the courtroom during the trial, angering Rice and other protesters who went to the apartment building in downtown Minneapolis on Nov. 6.
In the hallway outside a 12th-floor unit, Rice states, “We’s tight on her a**. We on her heels. What she think… we want camera. The people deserve to know.”
“I don’t know if this is her crib. I think this is her crib right here,” Rice continues while standing outside the door of Chu’s supposed apartment. “We got confirmation that this is her house right here.”
He also added that he is “waiting for the gang to get up here.”
When Rice returned downstairs, another protester asked him if they were in the right place and Rice responds, “That’s her sh** right there. She can hear us.” Then Rice rejoins the protesters outside and tells others in the crowd where he believes Chu’s apartment is located.
“That b**** looking at us,” he says. “That’s her window on the 12th floor.”
Calling out Chu’s name, Rice then shouts, “We demand transparency. We’d hate you to get kicked out of your apartment.” A different protester adds that the demonstration is a “trial run” and they’d be back.
Chu told investigators that “she believed she was the target of the defendant and the other protesters, adding that she believed the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process.”
It’s unknown if that was indeed Chu’s apartment or if she was present at the time.
Chu had initially ruled in August that she would not allow Potter’s trial to be recorded or live-streamed, however just days after the incident the judge cited the state of the coronavirus pandemic and the delta variant in her reversal and is now allowing the trial to be live-streamed.
Rice had appeared before Chu on Oct. 4 after violating his probation following a 2017 conviction for illegal weapons possession. Court records show that at that time Chu allowed Rice to continue probation in lieu of jail time.
Potter is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting of Wright during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. At that time tensions were high during the trial for former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted for the murder of George Floyd. Opening arguments for Potter.