UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): Court is adjourned until 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning after potential juror No. 85 was seated as the ninth juror.
The day started out with nine jurors, but two were eliminated for cause after being re-questioned by Judge Peter Cahill and both legal teams about Friday’s news of the historic $27 million settlement between the City of Minneapolis and George Floyd’s family.
Potential juror No. 85 is a white woman in her 40s who works as an organizational management consultant. She is also a wife and a mother. She said she’s aware of the settlement, but doesn’t know exactly what it all entailed.
She said she has a neutral opinion of both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, but has a very favorable opinion of police in her community. She said she believes People of Color sometimes face different treatment from police than white people. She also said she’s sympathetic to people suffering from addiction.
After she was seated, Judge Cahill called for recess for the day, saying, “Back where we started this morning, but better than being behind.”
UPDATE (3 p.m.): Judge Peter Cahill ordered the courtroom’s audio feed cut as soon as potential juror No. 83 took the stand.
When the audio returned, Cahill announced that juror was dismissed for cause, and noted she was wiping tears from her face as she left.
UPDATE (2:50 p.m.): Potential juror No. 79, a Black man in his 40s, will serve on the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial.
This brings the total back to eight potential jurors after two of the previously seated jurors were dismissed Wednesday morning after re-questioning.
Potential juror No. 79 indicated he had a “neutral” opinion of Chauvin and a “somewhat favorable” view of George Floyd.
UPDATE (2:00 p.m.): Judge Peter Cahill excused potential juror No. 78 from service after they expressed doubts about their ability to be impartial.
They said they had seen video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd multiple times.
“I believe that there was improper police procedure,” they said, later adding, “I think I would always start out with a bias.”
UPDATE (11:55 a.m.): Potential juror No. 76 dismissed after defense uses peremptory strike. That’s the 12th strike for the defense.
UPDATE (11:20 a.m.): Potential juror No. 76 is being questioned by defense. He says he stays away from social media. Only watched brief clips of the bystander video on CNN.
No. 76 says he is Black and the criminal justice system is discriminatory toward People of Color. He says he used to live near where George Floyd was killed.
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) March 17, 2021
UPDATE (10:55 a.m.): Potential juror No. 75 has been released and will not serve on the trial.
No. 75 said he would tend to believe a police officer over a citizen.
Jury selection continues.
UPDATE (10:50 a.m.): No audio section ends and defense continues questioning No. 75. No. 75 says he “somewhat agrees” that Black people and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system.
He says he “strongly agrees” that police keep his community safe.
UPDATE (10:33 a.m.): Defense is questioning potential juror No. 75. He says he’s seen the bystander video of the George Floyd arrest multiple times.
No. 75 says he’s been looking for a job during the pandemic and says the trial could possibly be a hardship.
Seven jurors seated, none today so far. Court needs 12 jurors and two alternates.
UPDATE (10:08 a.m.): Jury selection resumes after two seated jurors were excused for cause.
“Their exposure to settlement shows they honestly said they could no longer be impartial,” Cahill said of the excused jurors.
UPDATE (9:11 a.m.): Juror No. 44 was questioned and said she heard of the settlement, but that it wouldn’t affect her ability to be impartial. She was not excused and will remain on the jury.
Seated juror questioning has ended. Seven jurors remain on the trial.
Court will take a brief break.
UPDATE (9:02 a.m.): Juror No. 20 has been excused for cause. Two seated jurors have now been excused. The jury pool now sits at seven jurors.
Breaking : A second juror has been lost in the #DerekChauvinTrail after
Saying he was shocked by the size of 27 million dollar range of the city settlement with #GeorgeFloyd Family – down to seven jurors
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) March 17, 2021
The wedding is back on, at least: Juror 20, who was kicked from the jury because he felt exposure to the news of the city's settlement with George Floyd's family would affect him, is the juror who was getting married on May 1. #ChauvinTrial @esmemurphy @WCCO
— Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) March 17, 2021
UPDATE (8:59 a.m.): Two other seated jurors have been questioned and were not excused. One out of four interviewed have been excused for cause so far.
UPDATE (8:55 a.m.): Judge Cahill has excused Juror No. 36 for cause. No. 36 said he heard of the $27 million settlement and that it has affected his ability to be impartial.
Breaking: They just lost a juror in the #DerekChauvintrail – the Hispanic male juror said he can not be impartial after hearing the news of Fridays 27 million dollar settlement between the city and George Floyds Family – jurors are being requestioned – down to 8 jurors
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) March 17, 2021
UPDATE (8:50 a.m.): Proceedings begin with Judge Peter Cahill questioning juror No. 2 on whether or not he was exposed to news of the settlement with George Floyd’s family. Juror No. 2 said he heard that there was a development in the case, but nothing more. Questioning was brief.
Cahill began the day by admonishing media reports about courthouse security and various items on counsel’s tables. He threatened to bar media from courtroom and close the media center.
“It’s absolutely inappropriate,” he said. “I hope everyone takes this to heart that I consider the security issue very serious … and it will be met with sanctions if it continues. And I would hope that any media that posted such things online will immediately take them down. Failure to do so will result possibly in you being kicked out of the media center as well.”
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Seven jurors seated last week in the Derek Chauvin trial will be re-questioned Wednesday following the news of the City of Minneapolis’ $27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd.
The historic settlement was announced Friday after the first week of jury selection. On Monday, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, expressed concern that the news of the civil settlement would “taint” the jury. He asked Judge Peter Cahill for all the jurors seated last week to be re-questioned. Nelson also called for a continuance and a change of venue.
The judge agreed to have the seven jurors requisitioned. The jurors are slated to appear in court over Zoom. Proceedings are expected to begin at 8:45 a.m. They will be streamed on CBSN Minnesota.
Defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case, said he expects the jurors to be more relaxed during questioning as they will not be in the courtroom.
“I think we might get more information on them,” Tamburino said.
The judge is still mulling over the defense’s request for a continuance and moving the trial out of Hennepin County. He is also considering allowing evidence from Floyd’s May 2019 arrest to be presented during the trial.
During Tuesday’s pretrial hearing, the defense argued that since drugs with Floyd’s DNA were found in the squad car connected to his 2020 arrest, it showed that Floyd had a pattern of ingesting pills when being arrested. During the 2019 arrest, Floyd ingested drugs and paramedics noted that Floyd’s vitals put him at risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Jury selection in the trial is expected to continue Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. The court is still working to seat three jurors and two alternates.
So far, the jury is made up of six men and three women. Four of the jurors are people of color; five of them are white.
Earlier this week, some jurors mentioned hearing news of the settlement. One potential juror said that because the payout was so large it would affect her ability to be impartial in the case.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after being arrested outside a south Minneapolis convenience store. Bystander video of the arrest showed Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd lay prone, handcuffed and pleading for air.
The video sparked unrest in the Twin Cities and a nationwide reckoning with racial inequity and police brutality. Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Three other former Minneapolis police officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. They are slated to stand trial in August.
More On WCCO.com:
- WCCO Full Coverage: Derek Chauvin Trial
- More Than 60 People Arrested Following Third Night Of Protests Over Daunte Wright’s Killing
- Officer Kim Potter, Police Chief Resign; Potter Faces Possible Criminal Charges
- Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming Your Way?
- Daunte Wright Killing: How Does An Officer Confuse Their Gun For A Taser?