MINNEAPOLIS — Felony harassment charges have been filed in connection with a livestreamed protest staged outside the residence of the presiding judge in the Kim Potter Trial.
Cortez Rice is charged in Hennepin County with one count of harassment involving retaliation against a judicial officer. A criminal complaint spells out the allegations, which involve a demonstration Rice and others conducted on Nov. 8 outside of a condominium that they believed belonged to Judge Regina Chu.
KARE 11's Lou Raguse says Rice and his colleagues were protesting for Judge Chu to allow cameras and audio devices in the courtroom for the Kim Potter trial.
At the time of the protest, Chu had an order in place saying cameras would not be allowed. Right after this protest, the judge changed the order allowing the trial to be televised, stating the reason was COVID, not the protest.
Prosecutors viewed a video of the demonstration they say Rice livestreamed. In it, they allege Rice stood outside the door of a condo and said "We on her heels. What she think (inaudible) we want cameras. The people deserve to know."
Finally, they say Rice was heard on the livestream yelling "we demand transparency. We'd hate you to get kicked out of your apartment." Another demonstrator was heard saying the incident was a "trial run," and that protestors would be back.
The complaint says Chu told investigators "it was her belief the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process."
Raguse reports that it's not clear whether the condo even belongs to Chu. He says after his initial report on the demonstration in early November, someone reached out to him claiming they purchased the residence from the judge. Raguse says at this time property records aren't clear, and that both names are on the documents.
Rice was taken into custody in Waukesha County, Wisconsin after being pulled over for speeding. He waived extradition, meaning Rice will be returned to Hennepin County to face the charge.
Raguse notes that a month before the protest, Cortez Rice appeared before Judge Chu in his own case, with her ruling that he violated probation on a felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm case.