Day 10: Judge rules State vs. Chauvin trial won’t be halted or moved
Juror No. 113 dismissed by the judge.
The court will be in recess until 9 a.m. Monday.
Juror No. 113 says he was carjacked on Feb. 11. He states he is able to preside in a criminal case despite that occurrence. He got his car back and "a decent amount of the items" inside the vehicle. He has not heard about any arrests made. He stated he is satisfied with the police’s response in that situation.
He describes himself as a dog owner who enjoys playing guitar.
Chauvin’s attorney asks Juror 113 about how they resolve conflict among jurors during deliberations.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Juror 113 says they would first try to find commonalities among the two and then try to help them find middle ground on differences.
He said he would stand his ground in his beliefs based on facts and evidence when discussing the case with the jury.
He tells the defense he made a negative judgment on Chauvin based on the video he saw. However, the juror stated he can be impartial during the trial.
Chauvin’s attorney asking about questionnaire responses, where Juror 113 answered they have a "somewhat negative" opinion of #DerekChauvin based on video.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Nelson again asks Juror 113 if they can set opinions aside and the juror says yes.
The juror stated he believed the death of Floyd involved "irrational violence." He explained that it didn’t need to happen, in his opinion.
Chauvin’s attorney asks about juror’s use of words "irrational violence" in description of convos about incident with family & friends.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Juror 113 "From what I could tell it was..another instance of I guess like I said irrational violence where it didn’t need to happen that way."
The defense uses a peremptory challenge strike, dismissing Juror No. 111.
The final juror of the day will be questioned next.
The court is in recess until 3:45 p.m.
Questioning will continue with the current juror when it resumes.
Juror No. 110 has been excused. The judge cites a reason as "it would be difficult for you to be impartial" based on the information given to the court.
Juror No. 111 is next to be questioned. He says he works at a bar in central Minnesota and tells the judge that patrons "love to give their opinion" on the case to him.
The juror notes that he is still in college and could see some challenges in switching up classes as the trial goes on. He adds if "need be" he will serve on the jury because it’s his "civic duty." He states the class is a thesis class.
Juror 111 is in college and tells Judge Cahill they start thesis class on Monday, has worked hard to get into specific class but says they could push it off if necessary.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Judge Cahill turns it over the Chauvin’s attorney.
Adding a class would not force the juror to add another semester to their studies. They say they were planning on taking another semester anyways.
He describes himself as a fan of art and rugby. In regards to settling conflict, he says he wants to hear both sides and talk it out. "We all have to agree," he adds.
He noted to the court he is able to switch up his stance on opinions when proven wrong.
"There’s facts and the law…ignore everything else. That would not be the most difficult thing to follow," he said, when asked if he would be willing to accept the law as is during the trial.
Juror #111: Obviously it’s impossible to be completely unbiased, but the way that this seems to operate is there’s some very strong framework, you have facts and the law, and that’s it. #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 19, 2021
He has seen bystander video of the incident on social media in its entirety. He adds he has seen some snippets of other videos as well.
The juror says he went to a "few" protests, calling for the officers to be "charged and fired." Despite his opinion, he says "opinion is meant to be changed." He reiterates he is able to be impartial.
Chauvin’s attorney asks "You formed an opinion.. that officer Chauvin and/or the others caused Mr. Floyd’s death."— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Juror 111 responds "Correct"
Nelson, "Can you set aside what you previously believed to be the cause of his death.."
Juror 111 "An opinion is meant to be changed"
Questioning is ongoing for Juror No. 109.
The juror in question states she had been exposed to images and opinions regarding this case on social media. She also heard about the jurors selected earlier this week on the radio.
Juror #110 says there is a lot of information out and they try to put it out of their mind, not knowing if its accurate, etc.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 19, 2021
Judge Cahill is going off audio so he can ask Juror #110 about some "sensitive" information.
Juror No. 109 has been excused from serving on the jury. The state is arguing he be excused for cause for bias. The judge opposed, and the state prosecution uses a peremptory challenge strike. They have three remaining.
Juror 109 is excused.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
State moved to dismiss juror for cause on based on bias, argued material was left out of questionnaire and felt juror was being evasive.
Judge Cahill denied motion saying he didn’t feel the juror was evasive and could be impartial.
State used a strike
The court has reconvened. Juror No. 109 will be questioned first to start off the afternoon session.
He notes that a protest was held about six blocks away from where he lived. He went there out of curiosity. His friend also asked if he would go to a protest at WCCO in protest of a reporter who has ties with former Police Federation President Bob Kroll. He attended that protest. He says he didn’t take a personal stance in that protest, saying he went because his friend wanted someone to come with her.
Juror 109 up first as afternoon session gets underway.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Judge Cahill asks if anything on their questionnaire has changed, Juror 109 says they went to another protest.
This juror is also aware of the $27 million civil settlement.
"I would still be impartial but I thought it was a dumb move by the city to do that during jury selection," the potential juror said, regarding the city settlement with Floyd’s family being announced last week.
The man says he has served on a jury before in Florida. He called it "a good experience." He served as an alternate juror.
He describes himself as a "friendly, honest person." He states he lives nearby to the Third Precinct in Minneapolis. He is currently unemployed but more recently worked for a major communications company.
The juror has a neutral view of Chauvin and Floyd. However, he said Floyd "shouldn’t have died during the arrest process." He believes he died while in police custody, but added there could be several causes.
Chauvin’s attorney asking about 109’s description of Floyd where they said he "shouldn’t have died during the arrest process".— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Nelson asks whether Juror 109 feels death was at the hands of MPD.
Juror 109, "I would say he died while in custody, yes" but could be several causes.
He considers defunding the police as an "idiotic idea."
The juror says he has relatives who are police officers. None of them are with the Minneapolis Police Department. He has another relative who is a nurse. Despite his relationships, he states he would not take an officer’s word over someone else’s automatically.
He made it known in court that he will apply the presumption of innocence if he were selected for the jury.
Schleicher asks Juror 109 about ability to be neutral in this case.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 19, 2021
Juror 109 responds, "I know I definitely could be neutral."
Juror No. 103 has been dismissed for cause by the judge
She noted that it was too much to be on the jury and this case created a lot of emotions for her.
The court is in recess until 1:15 p.m.
Juror No. 99 has been dismissed for cause by the judge.
She shared that her background was working at a suburban police department, to which she stated would make her biased in her decisions.
After a long break, the judge stated that three jurors have been excused. One of them was noted to no longer live in Hennepin County.
A new jury pool is being sworn in.
Juror No. 96 has been added to the jury. She is the 13th confirmed member. There is one seat remaining to be seated.
The juror is described to be a white woman in her 50s.
The court is in recess.
Cahill just said there’s a "development" that they need to talk about. Audio cut and I believe they left to go in chambers. #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 19, 2021
The judge is addressing the first potential juror of the day.
Juror No. 96 is being questioned. The woman says she isn’t familiar with Black Lives Matter as an organization, but she believes they are about protecting Black lives and bringing issues to the forefront. She also stated, "we need law enforcement."
Cahill asks spectators, including media pool reporters, to step out while they discuss something private with Juror #96— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 19, 2021
A majority of the questioning was done with the audio off, as the court stated it included some private information.
The woman says she is a dog lover and an advocate for affordable housing. She also enjoys nature.
Schleicher: Do you, do you think that, you know, in your opinion if someone actually can’t breathe, would they be able to say they couldn’t breathe?— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 19, 2021
Sounds like Cahill objected to that question and asked for a sidebar. #ChauvinTrial
She says she has broad concerns, in general, involving this case, no matter the verdict.
The woman noted she has seen bystander video "2 to 3" times, but just a short version on the news. She noted in the questionnaire that Floyd’s restraining by officers "was ultimately responsible for Mr. Floyd’s demise." She explained she assumed that was the cause, based on her opinion from watching the clip.
"I feel like the video may not show the entirety of the situation and what happened. I don’t know what happened before or after," she said.
She believes Chauvin took on "another role" in comparison to the other officers seen in the video, calling him the "leader."
In regards to how the media portrays discrimination, she says it can sometimes have a bias.
"Sometimes I feel like the media… goes for certain stories or headlines that would grab people’s attention," she noted.
The woman also shared that her business was damaged and looted during the riots. Her business is located in a more suburban setting. She says they had to close for seven days to do repairs and figure out what was stolen.
Friday, Judge Peter Cahill ruled on two major motions.
One of the rulings Friday involved whether to halt or move the trial due to concerns that a settlement had tainted the jury pool. Cahill ruled not to halt or move the trial.
The judge also ruled on whether to allow evidence from Floyd’s earlier 2019 arrest. Cahill ruled portions of that incident are admissable in this particular trial, specifically medical evidence on Floyd’s bodily response during the 2019 arrest. That includes information on Floyd’s blood pressure at the time as well as statements on Floyd’s physical symptoms.
Additionally, the state’s expert on the matter cannot testify on Floyd’s behavior during that arrest.
Cahill noted that the initial jury pool was 326 individuals. Before Friday’s session began, they have addressed 95 with 57 actually being questioned. Twelve jurors have been seated, 12 have been removed by the defense, six have been removed by the state and 27 have been removed by the judge for cause.
Just two more jurors were needed for the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, as the judge prepared to rule Friday on two major motions — including whether to allow evidence from Floyd’s earlier 2019 arrest.
The 12 jurors seated through Thursday are evenly split by race, with six white jurors, four Black and two multiracial, according to the court. The last two jurors chosen will be alternates.
Opening statements are March 29 if the jury is complete. That process was on track to finish nearly a week early despite news that the city would pay a $27 million settlement to Floyd’s family.
Former officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill was to rule Friday on Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson ‘s motion to halt or move the trial due to concerns that the settlement had tainted the jury pool. But Cahill denied similar motions last year, and the settlement didn’t emerge as a major factor in juror questioning.
A likely bigger issue was Floyd’s 2019 arrest, just a year before his fatal encounter with Chauvin.
Cahill also previously denied the defense’s attempt to allow the year-old arrest at trial. But he heard fresh arguments this week because of drugs found in January in a second search of the squad in which the four officers attempted to put Floyd in 2020.
Nelson argued that similarities between the encounters are relevant, with Floyd calling out for his mother, claiming he had been shot before, crying and putting what appeared to be pills in his mouth.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank said the defense was simply looking for a backdoor way to portray Floyd as a bad person, and the only relevant issue in Floyd’s death is how he was treated by police.
Jurors added Thursday include a white registered nurse in her 50s who assured the court that she wouldn’t draw on her medical knowledge at Chauvin’s trial, and a Black woman in her 60s who said she didn’t watch the entire bystander video of Floyd’s arrest and didn’t know enough to form a firm opinion of Chauvin or Floyd.
The 12th juror seated, a white woman in her 40s who works in commercial insurance, said she has experience with someone who struggled with alcohol, and might view someone who uses drugs cautiously, saying they could act violently or aggressively when under the influence.
But she said she doesn’t believe someone who uses drugs or doesn’t cooperate with police should be treated poorly. "If someone uses drugs, I don’t think there should be ramifications of violence for that," she said.
Three other former officers face an August trial in Floyd’s death on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.