UPDATE (11:35 a.m.): Jury selection is complete in the Derek Chauvin trial. The court seated the 15th juror, who will be used as a temporary alternate, on Tuesday morning. Court is in recess until Monday, when opening statements are scheduled to begin.
The 15th juror is a white man in his 20s who works as an accountant and is an sports fan. He reported he had a “somewhat negative” view of Chauvin. He told the court that he thought the former Minneapolis police officer used unnecessary force when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
He had heard about the $27 million settlement between Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd. He said that he didn’t believe the knowledge of the settlement would affect his ability to be impartial in the case.
When asked by the state about football players kneeling during the national anthem, the juror said that he wished that the athletes would protest in a different way. He also expressed somewhat negative views of Black Lives Matter. While he doesn’t think the movement was responsible for the riots in the Twin Cities, he felt it played a contributing factor.
This 15th juror will be excused from duty on Monday if none of the other 14 jurors are dismissed from duty. There are concerns that jurors could be excused if they get sick amid the COVID-19 pandemic or are exposed to news in the high-profile case, the biggest in state history.
The jurors seated during this 12-day selection process are a diverse cross section of Hennepin County. Six of the jurors are men, nine are women. Nine of the jurors are white, four are Black, and two identify as multi-racial. The jurors range in age from their 20s to a grandmother in her 60s.
Fourteen of the jurors will hear the case in the coming weeks. Two will be chosen as alternates and dismissed before deliberations. It’s yet unclear which jurors will be chosen as alternates.
The rest of the jury pool will not be released until the jurors are sworn in next week.
Judge in #DerekChauvinTrial has his 15th juror , a man who is an accountant with a somewhat negative view of Derek Chauvin. Judge said this 15th Juror will be excused on Mon because there is only room for 14 in the courtroom. Court in recess until Monday when actual trial begins
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) March 23, 2021
UPDATE (10:55 a.m.): Potential juror No. 130 in the Derek Chauvin trial is dismissed for cause.
The potential juror told the judge that they’d heard about the $27 million settlement between Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd. They also told the court that they were deeply affected by the events in the Twin Cities over the summer following Floyd’s death.
The potential juror told Judge Peter Cahill that they couldn’t guarantee that they could be impartial in the case. The judge dismissed the potential juror for cause.
The court is still aiming to seat a 15th juror by the end of the day.
UPDATE (10:25 a.m.): Potential juror No. 129 in the Derek Chauvin trial is excused from duty. The court is still working to seat a 15th juror.
Potential juror No. 129 reported that she had heard about the $27 million settlement between Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd. “I wasn’t very happy about that,” she said.
The potential juror also expressed concern for the safety of her family. She reported having three children. In court, she displayed her nervousness. She said that she didn’t want to be a juror on the case.
When the judge excused her, she immediately whispered: “Thank you.”
UPDATE (10:07 a.m.): Potential juror No. 127 is dismissed for cause. The state had motioned to dismiss the potential juror over his apparent bias towards police officers.
The potential juror told the court that he spent years as a truck driver and had great distrust of the news media. He reported a “neutral” view of Derek Chauvin and a “somewhat negative” view of George Floyd.
He was repeatedly asked about how he viewed police officers. He said that he tended to trust police officers because he generally views them as “unbiased and fair.”
The court is still looking to seat a 15th juror. Eleven more jurors are ready to be questioned Tuesday.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, could wrap up on Tuesday.
Judge Peter Cahill is seeking to seat at least one more juror, so that there are 15 jurors ready over the next six days in case one or more of them are excused ahead of opening statements. There are concerns that jurors could get sick amid the COVID-19 pandemic or become tainted by news in the high-profile case.
Court is slated to resume at 9 a.m.
Already, two seated jurors have been excused from the trial after hearing of the $27 million settlement between Minneapolis and Floyd’s family. The two jurors told the court last week that the settlement affected their view of the case and their ability to be impartial.
Defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case, says the 15th juror will act as a quasi-alternate. Instead of being dismissed before deliberations, they’ll be dismissed ahead of opening statements, which are slated to start Monday.
“Think about it: There are 14 seats in that jury box, so I guess what the judge was thinking is that he’ll pick 15 [jurors], but they couldn’t actually fit 15 when the trial starts,” he said.
So far, 14 jurors are seated in the case, with the latest having been added on Monday. It’s unclear which jurors will be alternates. Only 12 of them will deliberate to decide whether or not Chauvin is guilty. One of them will released ahead of opening statements, and two will be dismissed before deliberations — after having heard the entire case in court.
The seated jury is diverse, comprised of nine women and five men; eight are white, four are Black and two identify as multi-racial. The jurors range in age from their 20s to a grandmother in her 60s.
The latest juror seated Monday is a white social worker in her 20s. She reported a somewhat negative view of Chauvin, but was open to hear the facts of the case. She strongly disagreed with the push to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and described the jobs of police as important, having played a role her work life.
Several other potential jurors were dismissed Monday. The defense struck a nursing assistant who marched in a protest and carried a sign. The state struck an avid fisherman who’d hardly heard anything about the case but reported a negative view of Black Lives Matter. One woman was excused due to issues surrounding language and another was excused because she has a chronically ill child at home.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after having been arrested outside a south Minneapolis convenience store. Bystander video showed Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he lay prone, handcuffed and pleaded for air.
The bystander video of the arrest was widely circulated online, sparking unrest in the Twin Cities and a national reckoning on racism and police brutality.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other former Minneapolis officers are also charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. Their trial is scheduled for August.