Minneapolis, MN – A Black Lives Matter activist has been arrested and charged with trying to intimidate the judge presiding over the manslaughter trial of former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter.
The incident occurred on Nov. 6 when 32-year-old Cortez Rice livestreamed himself inside a Loring Park condo building where he said he believed Hennepin County District Court Judge Regina Chu lived, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Activists were angry that Chu had banned cameras from the courtroom for Potter’s manslaughter trial in the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Potter has claimed she accidentally shot Wright when she mistook her duty weapon for her Taser.
Violent protests erupted in the suburban Minneapolis city after the shooting, and the vandalism and looting got so bad that the Minnesota National Guard was deployed to assist local police in quelling the unrest.
Rice filmed himself in November at a unit on the 12th floor of the building that he told his viewers belonged to the judge presiding over Potter’s trial, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The video showed a group of protesters on the sidewalk in front of the condominium building, too.
“We on her heels,” Rice said in the video. “What she think… we want cameras. The people deserve to know.”
Then the video showed him standing outside the door of a condo.
“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,” Rice said in the livestream.
The video showed Rice made a scene in the hallway, and opened a window and screamed down to other protesters on the street, KARE reported.
Rice made fun of a building resident who opened their door to investigate the commotion, the video showed.
“Is there a reason you’re yelling out the window?” he mimicked the person on the livestream.
“Yeah,” Rice answered himself. “To let the gang know we’re up in this [obscenity].”
The Black Lives Matter activist who has claimed to have been a friend of the late George Floyd used obscene language and made threats during his livestream, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“We are here for one person in particular,” Rice said in the video.
“We demand transparency. We’d hate you to get kicked out of your apartment,” he called out and used the judge’s name, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Chu told investigators in her complaint that “it was her belief the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process,” KARE reported.
Rice was charged last week with felony tampering with a judicial officer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
He was arrested in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Nov. 29 and booked into jail to await extradition to Hennepin County.
Records of the arrest were unsealed on Friday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Rice denied having tried to intimidate the judge shortly after the incident at the condo building.
“I don’t know why people are saying I was there to intimidate her or anything because that wasn’t the case. I just made a live video on it and I was just there to make sure she can hear us,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Interestingly, Rice appeared before Chu on Oct. 4 for a probation violation in connection with a 2017 illegal weapons conviction.
Court records showed Chu continued Rice’s probation instead of putting him back behind bars at that hearing, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The judge changed her ruling about cameras in the courtroom not long after the incident with Rice at the condo building.
But Chu said the decision was based on social-distancing guidelines and had nothing to do with the protesters, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.