Judge Regina Chu: 5 quick facts you need to know


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Getty / Ballotpedia

Kim Potter / Judge Regina M. Chu.

Judge Regina M. Chu is the presiding judge in the trial of Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting of Daunte Wright, 20, on April 11, 2021.

Potter’s trial is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Potter said she accidentally pulled out her handgun when she shot Wright, a driver, during a vehicle stop, according to KARE 11. Potter is charged with first and second degree manslaughter. . Chu met with attorneys on Monday, December 6, 2021 to discuss jury instructions and pre-trial motions.

“Potter’s defense team want Judge Chu to give a jury instruction at the end of the case that if the former officer truly believed she was deploying her Taser instead of firing her gun,” the jury should declare that she is not guilty. The prosecution is asking for limits to be placed on the defense by using character evidence for Potter, ”KARE reported 11.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Chu has been nominated by Governor Jesse Ventura and elected three times

Chu was appointed to her post in 2002 by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, according to her biography of the Minnesota Courts. She was later elected to her post in 2004, 2010 and 2016, according to the biography.

Ballotpedia reported that district court judges in Minnesota are elected in non-partisan elections for six-year terms. A peer vote selects each chief judge of the district court for a two-year term. Chu’s re-election went unopposed in 2010, according to the publication. Judges must have “a knowledge of the law” and be under the age of 70, says Ballotpedia.

“The candidates participate in the primaries, from which the two best candidates qualify for the general elections,” writes Ballotpedia. “Sitting judges must stand for re-election if they wish to serve additional terms. While party affiliation is not indicated on the ballot, the mandate is. Sitting judges who reach the age of 70 during their term of office are allowed to sit until the last day of the month of their birthday.


2. Cortez Rice, a friend of the Wright family, was accused of allegedly harassing Chu during a protest

Cortez Aaron Rice, 32, faces a criminal harassment charge, accused of entering an apartment building and upstairs where he believed Chu might be living on November 6, 2021, according to MPR News. Protesters were calling for transparency in the protest, CBS Local reported. The outlet reported that Rice broadcast on Facebook Live when he approached a door.

“I don’t know if this is his cradle,” he said on the video, which has now been deleted. “I think it’s his cradle here. We have confirmation that this is his home here. I’m waiting for the gang to come up here.

The media reported that he opened a window in a hallway and shouted at the protesters.

“If people stand there, she’ll definitely hear us,” he said on the video, according to CBS Local. Rice is a friend of the Wright family, the outlet reported.

Rice was in front of Chu in October 2021, MPR News reported, when he was convicted of a probation violation following a gun conviction in 2017.


3. Chu graduated from the University of Minnesota and received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law

Chu attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, according to her biography of the Minnesota Courts. She then attended William Mitchell College of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree, according to the biography. Chu graduated with distinction from both schools, according to the biography. She completed her undergraduate studies in 1975 and received her law degree in 1980, according to Ballotpedia.

The law school, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, has now merged with Hamline Law, becoming the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, according to the Minnesota Post. Hamline University announced that the merger took place in the fall of 2015.

“Mitchell Hamline Law School is ranked # 147-193 in top law schools and # 35 (equality) in part-time law. Schools are ranked based on their performance on a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence, ”writes US News & World Report.


4. Chu said she would allow the video in the courtroom, but her decision was unrelated to the protests.

Chu said she would allow video recording during the Potter trial, but said her decision was unrelated to the transparency protests in November, according to MPR News. She said her decision was based on the growing number of coronavirus cases, according to her order.

“The recent protest at the presiding judge’s home needs to be addressed,” Chu wrote in his order, according to MPR News. “The unfortunate moment suggests that the protest had an impact on the court’s decision to allow A / V coverage. The honest answer is that the protest had no impact on the court’s decision, and it shouldn’t. “

Chu made additional decisions ahead of the trial, KARE 11 reported, including that there will be no live broadcast of Wright’s autopsy photos out of respect for the deceased and his family.


5. Chu started her career as a legal assistant and is a member of several organizations

Chu’s first job was as a legal assistant in Hennepin County, according to Ballotpedia. She then moved to a new position as legal assistant at the Minnesota Supreme Court, before becoming special assistant to the attorney general in the Minnesota attorney general’s office, according to the publication.

“Chu began her legal career in 1977 as legal assistant to Judge Barbeau of the Hennepin County District Court,” Ballotpedia writes. “In 1980, she became a clerk of the Minnesota Supreme Court, assisting Justice Amdahl. The following year, she became Special Assistant Attorney General. She held this position in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office until 1984. She then worked as an attorney and, later, as a partner in the firm of Bassford, Lockhart, Truesdell & Briggs from 1985 to 1993. She was an attorney and partner of Wilson & Chu from 1993 to 1996, then solo lawyer under the title Regina M. Chu, PA from 1997 until his appointment to the bench in 2002.

Chu is also a member of several organizations, according to his biography of the courts in Minnesota. She is a member of the board of directors of Asian Women United of Minnesota and a member of the Hennepin County Pro Bono Project Committee, the Civil Litigation Section Board, and the Civil Jury Instruction Guides Committee of Judges of the district of Minnesota, according to his biography.

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