After Potter Verdict, Should Alec Baldwin Be Worried?

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After Potter Verdict, Should Alec Baldwin Be Worried?

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Every news agency in the country raced to be first in announcing the jury verdict in the case against former police officer Kim Potter, found guilty of both first- and second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in April.

What none of those news agencies have done is speculate how this case—which will undoubtedly be appealed—could affect a continuing investigation into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins as actor/producer Alec Baldwin was practicing for a scene in a western film in production at the time near Santa Fe, N.M.

After all, there has been plenty of discussion about Baldwin’s alleged mishandling of a single-action revolver, and how it discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza on Oct. 21.

If Potter was negligent in mistaking her semiautomatic sidearm for a taser carried on the opposite side of her duty belt, wouldn’t Baldwin be equally negligent for not carefully checking his “prop” gun to determine if it was truly unloaded or if there were blanks or live ammunition in any of the six chambers?

Consider some facts: There is a plausible argument that anybody familiar with firearms, and who carries one on the job, would automatically feel the difference in weight and grip shape between a loaded handgun and a lighter-in-weight taser.

Likewise, anyone familiar with basic firearms safety rules would automatically—almost by reflex—check a firearm they’ve been handed, regardless who handed it to them. Here’s what Fox News legal analyst Greg Jarrett said about the Baldwin situation: “Look, he can be charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to exercise what the law calls due care. What’s that? Well, for an actor, it’s following the union rules, which state you have to do two things. You have to watch the armorer inspect the guns, the barrel, the cylinder before it’s handed to you and then you have to repeat the procedure. There’s no evidence that Alec Baldwin did either thing. That could constitute gross negligence, recklessness, involuntary manslaughter.”

Baldwin obviously did something else one should never do. He evidently aimed the gun directly at Hutchins, otherwise, she would not have been fatally wounded. Whether he was told to, or did it on his own, at that point as the film’s on-site producer, he could easily have stopped the rehearsal and told Hutchins and Souza “no way am I doing this, film it from an angle.”

Minnesota and New Mexico have different statutes regarding manslaughter, and it will be up to investigators to determine whether the lines were crossed in the Baldwin case. Here are the statutes: Minnesota First and Second degree manslaughter, New Mexico manslaughter explained by Justia U.S. Law.

Potter is headed to prison, but many on social media are now furiously arguing the verdict was wrong, and some even contend charges should never have been filed. Others contend justice was done. It might be instructional to ask them how they felt about the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial last month.

In Potter’s case, she was involved in a struggle with Wright, a black motorist wanted on what legal expert Alan Dershowitz—writing at The Hill—called “an outstanding weapons charge.” Potter testified she “feared for the safety” of Sgt. Mychal Johnson, who was grappling with Wright, Dershowitz recounted.

In the heat of the moment, it is arguable anybody could have made the error Potter made. In his essay, Dershowitz observed, “Under American law, honest mistakes are not crimes — even if they result in tragic deaths.” Keep in perspective that this principle would apply equally to Baldwin as it should to Potter.

Baldwin, who is not facing any charge at this writing, was not involved in a physical scuffle with anybody. He was on a movie set, involved in preparation for filming a scene in which he was apparently supposed to have aimed, and possibly fired, a gun toward the camera. That’s nothing new or unusual for a western. What is unusual is that apparently, live ammunition was on the set, a longtime No-No in the motion picture and television industry. Investigators have yet to say how live rounds got on Baldwin’s set, or how at least one got into Baldwin’s gun. Baldwin has issued a Christmas message, according to the New York Post.

The actor—who killed a Russian sailor/saboteur on screen in “The Hunt for Red October,” and killed a bunch of people in his remake of Steve McQueen’s “The Getaway”—should be no stranger to firearms on set. He’s been in motion pictures for years, and during his ABC interview, which Jarrett said was a foolish thing to do, he insisted he didn’t press the trigger. Since that interview aired, social media has seen one discussion after another about the credibility of such a claim. Single-action revolvers typically don’t discharge without the trigger either being pressed or wired back to prevent engagement with the hammer notch. Something happened that so far has not been credibly explained.

If charges are filed, it still remains to be seen against whom. Baldwin claims he’s not at fault. He was handed a revolver, which was allegedly said to be unloaded. Anyone familiar with Colt revolvers and reproductions can tell in a heartbeat if one of these guns is loaded because the case heads of blank or live cartridges would be visible, at which point everything stops and the gun is physically unloaded. That did not happen.

As a result, the gun discharged while Baldwin was holding it and a bullet flew its course.

It hasn’t helped Baldwin’s image that he spoke in support of gun control in the past. For someone to advocate for “gun safety,” that person needs to invariably practice the safety he is preaching.

The parallel in both cases is that someone died, unintentionally. In Potter’s case the victim was wanted, and was involved in a physical altercation. In Baldwin’s case, the victim was literally just sitting there. Potter was charged, tried and convicted. Baldwin shut down production, went home and gave a television interview.

If Baldwin ever is charged, he might a defense in something Dershowitz said in his Op-Ed.

“The Minnesota appellate courts should carefully review the record in this case,” Dershowitz wrote “including the evidence and the judge’s instructions. The function of appellate courts is to be a step removed from the passions of the crowd and to apply the law neutrally and fairly. Such an application of the law to Officer Potter should result in an immediate decision to free her on bail, and then a subsequent decision to reverse her conviction, with instructions to dismiss the indictment.”

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About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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Dr. Strangelove

Baldwin is an elite, and according to our two-tiered justice system, is not accountable. You or I would be sitting in jail for the exact same act.

Wass

Should Alec Baldwin be worried? New Mexico authorities surely are in no rush to apply the law in this case. It seems, being a celebrity brings with it a certain teflon. Meanwhile, officer Potter is in jail and the policeman who shot the unarmed Ashley Babbitt, on January 6, 2021, got a clean bill of health without even a public hearing. The hypocrisy stinks to the heavens!

Xaun Loc

Ordinarily I don’t expect any level of intelligence from the mainstream media, but here we have a case where the mainstream media has accidentally demonstrated far more intelligence than the so-called conservative media and especially the pro-gun media. The logical reason why no one with a brain should be linking the Potter case with Baldwin is that the two cases have nothing in common in terms of law or facts beyond the fact that someone was shot. We consistently see an overwhelming level of stupidity from the “pro-gun” community on what has become the Baldwin case in the minds of… Read more »

Russn8r

“pro-gun idiots…proper procedure prohibits actor from checking gun”
Does Smart Alec pay by the word? He ignored his union safety tips eg.
* Treat all guns as loaded & deadly
* Check every time you take possession
* No horseplay
* Never point at anyone. Cheat shot by aiming R or L
* If asked to shoot at live target, consult prop master-armorer
* Before each use ensure gun was test-fired; ask to test fire it
* Watch master check cylinders & barrel for foreign objects, dummy bullets
*Exceptions: Alec & ‘Hilaria’ Baldwin, commie-libs, gun grabbers, shills & suckups
https://www.actorsequity.org/resources/Producers/safe-and-sanitary/safety-tips-for-use-of-firearms/

Last edited 18 days ago by Russn8r
macdog

In Baldwin’s “cover the incident interview”, he is saying he was pulling the hammer back asking, “is that enough”, never to fully cocked; in his words; releasing the hammer uncontrolled while still pointed at Hutchins. baldwin’s weak ass defense misses on all of your well stated bullet points. Biggest, check the weapon you are handed and in charge of. He f-cked up and it’s on him! He did not personally clear the weapon, with a witness, that he was presented. Charge of reckless homicide. Officer Potter and others in a fight with a felon with a weapons charge and attempting… Read more »

Russn8r

Yep. OTOH, Dallas cops murdered Tony Timpa with impunity. Also jailed hairdressers after Abbott’s lockdown decrees.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c-E_i8Q5G0
If enforcers were accountable for abuse, racist BLM & Pantifa would never have gotten traction.

Larry

without understanding that the proper procedure on a movie set prohibits an actor from ever “checking” the gun”

Sadly for Baldwin, New Mexico doesn’t have “movie laws” and “everybody else laws.” They have only one set, and Baldwin broke ’em.

Vinnie

Someone missed the part where Baldwin is named as the PRODUCER. Regardless, he had the gun in hand when it fired, he is responsible. Period.

GomeznSA

As I have pointed out on other forums, there are (at least) three uncontrollable facts regarding killer alec: 1) he was holding the gun when it ‘went off’ – the how and why is a separate issue; 2) he was pointing it at human beings and 3) Halyna is still dead As others have noted, he is a ‘celebrity’ and a ‘darling’ of the left and the anti gun crowd (but I repeat myself) so the odds are very high that he will escape any real punishment. Ya gotta wonder though, what would happen to most of us mere mortals… Read more »

Wild Bill

“They” might not punish Baldwin criminally, but his lawyers and accountants are hiding his money overseas, even as we speak!

Boomer

The single biggest and best reason for the officer to be convicted is this is, Had the “I made a mistake” defense been accepted, every bad or even questionable shooting would have used it in the future. It would be a horrible precedent.

Larry

The Andrews Sisters actually had a hit song on this very subject.

Vinnie

Qualified Immunity (aka I made a mistake) is usually enough for officers to not get charged.

MikeRoss

No, Baldwin is a famous Lefty and will get a pass.

Wild Bill

Cases are won or lost in jury selection. The Baldwin jury will not consist of “Ya sure” Minnesotans.

musicman44mag

the unparallel is that the officer was in the line of duty trying to control a volatile situation with a criminal that had gun charges against him and Baldwin is a famous actor. Baldwin is the winner because he gets famous person points that elevate him above what is required for the common person just like people that are connected and get famous daddy president points. Even if he didn’t pull the trigger and his thumb slipped off the hammer before being fully cocked, he is responsible for the condition of the weapon as the actor first and as the… Read more »

JSNMGC

If anything, enforcers should be held to a higher standard – they keep telling us they are more professional and deserve special privileges (LEOSA, off roster handgun purchases, etc.). There have been dozens of comments, to this article and others here, criticizing Baldwin and deservedly so. However, there haven’t been any comments calling Potter an emotional idiot. There should be an expectation that Baldwin wouldn’t point a firearm at someone and discharge it and there should be an expectation that a highly trained professional, like Potter, doesn’t unholster a firearm and shoot someone when she intended to use a taser.… Read more »

Stag

Much higher. At the minimum, along with higher scrutiny, penalties should be doubled for government thugs.

Last edited 19 days ago by Stag
Buzz

I hope they HANG the arrogant POS. He is so Anti Gun that he dosent even know the Basic safety Rules

Larry

And yet he sits on the Board of Directors of a “gun safety” organization.
I mean, what are the chances, right?

macdog

Not going to happen unfortunately. He’ll walk. Maybe an undisclosed civil suit. Hope his dreams will be a regular reminder.

NRA Supporter

The relationship between these two cases highlights the political divide in this country. This issue is not about firearms or murder. Rather it is about an unequal application of the rule of law. If you are on “our side”, we will find a way for you to not be held accountable. If you are on “their side”, we will find a way for you to be held accountable. I do not know, nor care, who created the divide, only that it exists. This article is balanced, either they are both guilty, or they are both innocent. To rationalize that the… Read more »

Henry Bowman

You are right as far as unequal application of the law, a violation of the 14th Amendment. But we also know which side of the divide has been doing this. We all know that Baldwin is part of that side. On the other hand, you have people like Kyle “totally not guilty” Rittenhouse, who was targeted by those who stand on Baldwin’s side of the political divide. Just because they thought Kyle was not on their side (putting out fires started by the Antifa & BLM thugs), they tried to bury Kyle. But they will throw out the law so… Read more »

Wild Bill

The California statutes differ from the Minnesota statutes; the jury pools differ; and the prosecutors, defense, and judges differ and no federal statute is being applied. I don’t think that the 14th.
Amendment is an issue here.
Hopefully, Baldwin’s jury will thoughtfully measure Baldwin’s actions by the applicable statute.

Henry Bowman

Actually, this incident happened in New Mexico, not Commiefornia, so I believe it would be NM laws that would be applicable. And no, I havn’t had cause to read what NM has on the books.

Wild Bill

Oh yeah, you are right. It was New Mexico. I stand corrected.
I am fairly sure that the NM and MN statutes differ, however.

Last edited 19 days ago by Wild Bill
Larry

Excellent and relatively brief synopsis on Legal Insurrection by self-defense mensch Andrew Branca.
“Felony Involuntary Manslaughter.”
Baldwin approaches toast.

Last edited 18 days ago by Larry
Russn8r

Great article. Covers every major angle including the political one that Smart Alec may never be charged, or, if so, convicted, thanks in part to crisis manager shills muddying the water with claims that “without due caution and circumspection” and “wilfull disregard” don’t apply because…

Forget it, Jake. It’s Hollywood.

Wild Bill

Andrew Branca! I read his book! “The law of Self Defense with forward by Massad Ayoob”
Any time either of these two guys speak or write, they are worth paying attention to.
I did not know that Branca has a website. Thank you for sharing and Happy New Year full of guns and ammunition.

Russn8r

Branca, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!
🙂
That was a compliment…Call WillTEX off my balls.

Last edited 18 days ago by Russn8r
Henry Bowman

I see he’s still hammering you with his sockpuppets. Watch as he does it to me too, since I’ve piped up. Time to hammer back.

Henry Bowman

I got the book 2 years ago, and need a new one already. Plus, since I moved, gonna get a copy of the state edition for where I moved to. Two guys that I concure should ALWAYS be listened to. They are true subject-matter experts!!

Henry Bowman

I too am a faithful follower of Andrew Branca. His insights are priceless!

swmft

baldwin is a clear case of negligence,question is who is accountable and to what degree.

musicman44mag

Nope, he is a stupid idiot that talks a big line and obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about or doing. She was an officer acting in the line of duty. She had every right to kill the POS in order to protect herself, fellow officer and society. If I had been on the jury, she would not have been found guilty of murder. I don’t care that she thought she pulled her taser and drew her gun instead. She had legal cause to use her gun instead of the taser in the first place. To me the fact… Read more »

JSNMGC

“She had every right to kill the POS in order to protect herself, fellow officer and society.”

Did Potter’s defense strategy include the contention that Potter would have been justified in shooting Wright with a firearm?

Does an enforcer have the right to kill anyone who refuses to comply with his/her demands?

Stag

To some people, murder is always justified as long as the perpetrator is wearing the special costume.

JSNMGC

There weren’t any who spoke out against Brailsford and Langley. That spoke volumes. One even came out in defense of Brailsford (he even lied about the facts of the case).

None spoke out against the gang of LAPD heroes who fired over a hundred rounds at the newspaper delivery ladies.

It’s a tight group – almost like a gang.

Russn8r

WillTEX et ilk fellated Brailsford. The rest went along with it, including WB.

Daniel Shaver and daughters.png
Larry

In fact, the fact that intentionally shooting the perp with her Glock at that point would have been 100% within policy and law was a point of evidence presented at her trial. He was threatening another officer’s life with a deadly weapon, his car.

Last edited 18 days ago by Larry
JSNMGC

Did she explain why she didn’t make a conscious decision to use her firearm?

WI Patriot

He should be worried, regardless…If he isn’t, he’s a fool…

gregs

he is loved by leftists because of his portrayal of trump on snl and anti-gun stance and obviously thinks that this will shield him from prosecution. he will probably be plea bargained down to a misdemeanor and have to do some community service or donate to a leftist charity.
there is a two-level justice system in America and we have seen it way too many times.

Green Mtn. Boy

As he is a known @zzhole,very worried.