MILWAUKEE -- There were, at times, strange questions in a Milwaukee County courtroom Tuesday, Feb. 13 on the second day of the trial for Brown Deer Police Officer Devon Kraemer, charged for her actions in a March 2016 shooting, as a jury was selected. Questions included things like the signs potential jurors have displayed and even their workout routines.
"We will get you down to 14, I promise you, in a bit," Michael Steinle, Kraemer's attorney said.
The main order of business in the courtroom Tuesday was whittling down the jury pool from 60 to 14 - and it took awhile. Those ultimately selected will decide whether Kraemer, 28, committed a crime when she and another officer removed a disruptive passenger from a Milwaukee County bus in March 2016. As they tried to arrest Manuel Burnley Jr., prosecutors say Kraemer shot Burnley, also 28, once in the back while he was on his stomach. Kraemer said she was fearful because she couldn't see Burnley's left arm.
Burnley survived, but lost part of his lung. His attorney, Jonathan Safran, and Burnley's mother attended day two of the trial.
"We'll bring people in from the street and let them decide. They're intelligent people. We'll present our case and let them decide. That's what keeps us free," Steinle explained to the jury pool as he asserted the importance of their duty.
The jury selected Tuesday - 14 people, two of whom will eventually be named alternates - will consider whether Kraemer's use of force was aggravated battery, use of a dangerous weapon.
To find the right 14, both the prosecutor and defense attorney asked a wide range of questions, such as: Do they own guns? What are their opinions of police? What kind of shape are they in?
"When you swim, how long can you swim for?" James Griffin, assistant district attorney said.
"Would it be true that lifting 300 pounds is different than struggling on the ground with 300 pounds of someone fighting back at you?" Steinle said.
"If you run, how far can you run?" Griffin asked.
The jury selection process took up nearly the entire day Tuesday. Opening statements and the first testimony is expected Wednesday. Safran has said Burnley is among those who will testify in the trial.
The judge presiding over the trial, T. Christopher Dee, has issued a series of special, unusual restrictions. He clarified his order Tuesday and determined expert witnesses' faces can be recorded during their testimony. However, other witnesses, such as Brown Deer police officers, cannot be photographed or have their faces recorded during their testimony.
Dee has told the jurors to plan on this trial going through Feb. 21. Kraemer has been on "administrative suspension" since the shooting.