Court resumed Friday for the 5th day of jury selection in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Only one juror was selected, bringing the total to seven. Fourteen are needed, which includes two alternatives, before the trial commences on March 29th.
Meanwhile, the city of Minneapolis settled a civil suit with the family of George Floyd for a record $27 million. It’s the largest pre-trial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in American history.
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Who Will Make the Cut?
Only one juror was accepted today while four other prospective jurors were dismissed.
So far, attorneys have selected two women and five men for the jury. Four of the jurors are white, one is Black, one Hispanic, and one multiracial. By age, three of the jurors are in their 20s and three in their 30s, with the last in their 50s.
Juror 42, an executive in a nonprofit healthcare organization and a single mother who plays hockey, was a strong individual who reflected on being the type of person “to hold her ground.”
In regards to the news, she stated that there’s no such thing as the media anymore, “different stations have different opinions and social media is all over the place.”
She added that “…as a human…” seeing the video didn’t give her a good impression. “I just couldn’t watch it anymore.”
On the topic of Blue Lives, she said, “We need police reform.”
Interestingly, she also recalled that there were two autopsies, but told Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson that she would be willing to only consider the information admitted in court.
Juror 42, who also had participated in a BLM protest, said she’d commit to being fair and impartial.
But the defense soon issued a peremptory strike.
Juror 44, a mother of two teenage children, was also a supporter of Black Lives Matter who believes there is a bias in the system against Blacks and has seen it firsthand as she works with minorities on a regular basis.
She also had some sort of ties to AG Keith Ellison and admitted self-reflecting about her White Privilege.
“White children don’t need to worry about putting their hands on the wheel when they are pulled over by police,” she told the court.
She also mentioned having a negative view of drug use since it makes people make “bad decisions,” but considered that “people make mistakes.”
Finally, she is “somewhat favorable” to “Blue Lives Matter,” clarifying that police perform a valid function but the bad ones need to be removed. She added that our laws were created “for a society that no longer exists.”
She had something in her personal life that she didn’t want to broadcast so they went off audio for a private discussion.
In the end, Juror 44 was surprisingly seated.
From the get-go, it seemed this young Black woman was not interested in serving as a juror. She stumbled in her speech and did not come across as seemingly too bright or resourceful.
She was dealing with a move out from her parents’ home and taking on a second part-time job. Judge Peter Cahill promptly excused her from service on the basis of financial hardship.
Juror 48, a father and military veteran deployed in Iraq in 2005, described himself as having a good sense of humor.
He stated that he doesn’t go out of his way to listen to the news since it is negative, but usually keeps it on in the background during meal prep, which seemed a bit of a contradiction.
He was definitely concerned with his family’s safety given the high-profile nature of this case.
“I’d argue people should not be able to even hear us.”
State prosecution used a peremptory strike and this juror was removed from service on the jury.
Juror 49 was excused immediately by the judge due to unavailability during the trial and strong opinions expressed in his questionnaire.
Jury selection resumes Monday, March 15 at 8am CT.
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