State vs. Chauvin trial Day 12: Final juror selected, opening statements to be made on Monday
Juror No. 131 has been accepted as the 15th and final jury member. He is described to be a white man in his 20s.
The court is in recess until Monday, when opening statements begin.
Juror No. 131 is an accountant who is married with a puppy at home. He describes himself as a competitive person who likes to follow sports. He also noted he will be moving out of the state at the end of May.
He said he was "shocked" to find out he was summoned for jury duty relating to this trial.
Juror #131 is moving out of state at the end of May.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 23, 2021
Judge Cahill says they will have a “cranky” judge if they’re still going by the end of May. #DerekChauvinTrial
He believes the duration Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck was "unnecessary." He also believes it shouldn’t have taken four officers to respond to the original call.
The man said he has not posted any opinions on his social media regarding the incident, however, has discussed with coworkers what he could do personally and what they could do as an organization to help end racism.
The juror in question does not support defunding police.
"They provide a service to our society… If we’re talking about shifting funds, then that’s a conversation to have, but cutting funding is not something I would support," he said, further stating they are an "essential" part of our communities.
The juror has maintained that he would be able to be impartial if he would be selected to serve on the jury.
He believes people shouldn’t kneel for the National Anthem. He says he prefers a different method for some to get their message across.
In regards to the rioting and looting, he said Black Lives Matter was a contributing factor to it.
He says there are two different sides of Blue Lives Matter people: those who are using it as an excuse to argue for, and those who are willing to changing and improving things. He also believes there is room for improvement for criminal justice, specifically for corrections. He said he has read up on the statistics.
Juror No. 130 has been excused for cause by the judge. They stated in court they would "try" to be impartial but said it would be a challenge.
Juror No. 131 will be questioned next.
Within 10 minutes of returning from break, another juror dismissed by the court for cause. Juror #130 told judge that after everything that happened this summer, he couldn’t say with certainty that he could be fair and impartial @KSTP #DerekChauvinTrial— Kirsten Swanson (@KirstenKSTP) March 23, 2021
Juror No. 129 has been excused from the jury by the judge.
The court is in recess until 10:45 a.m.
Questioning is ongoing with Juror No. 129.
She says she "wasn’t very happy" to hear about the settlement with the city and Floyd’s family. She said she is able to put her personal opinions to the side regarding that news and be impartial for the trial.
She noted she is a mother of three kids. She says she "fears for the safety" of her family, further stating she did not want to serve on the jury.
She stated she was "very nervous" to participate.
Juror No. 127 has been excused from serving on the jury. The state prosecution team challenged for cause and the judge agreed. He agrees the man was honest and may have struggled to be impartial.
The judge also added that the defense will get a peremptory challenge strike back that was previously used on Juror No. 121. The defense provided the State v. McKinley case in his argument. The defense now has four remaining peremptory challenge strikes remaining, and the state has two.
Judge Cahill has sworn in the prospective jurors to begin the day.
Juror No. 127 will be the first to be questioned.
The man says the news "bothers" him, and he doesn’t watch any of it aside from the weather. He also noted he doesn’t have social media, when asked if he has seen any coverage on the case. He adds that he doesn’t trust "the media."
I want to know what happened, why did it happen, and the truth," he said in court.
He notes he is a former truck driver and went back to school to change careers. He now works as a pipefitter and lives in south Minneapolis.
He shared his safety concerns after that rioting that happened on Lake Street. "I don’t know what either side is capable of anymore. I don’t want to be part of either," he adds.
#127 has traveled all over the country and has dealt with all sorts of people, saying "I think I have a pretty strong gut feeling about people when they’re lying to me or telling me the truth." @KSTP #DerekChauvinTrial— Kirsten Swanson (@KirstenKSTP) March 23, 2021
He tells the defense he has seen the video of Floyd in police custody "2 to 3 times." He saw it on the news, in clips.
He believes defunding the police is "lunacy," and noted how Martin Luther King Jr.’s days were "protests and not riots," in comparison to the protests and riots that happened in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area.
The juror in question has a "somewhat negative" view of Floyd.
"Why is someone resisting… if you don’t have a problem, you have nothing to worry about," he said.
The man says "everybody’s lives matters," noting those who disagree "can go to Chicago." He has an unfavorable opinion on Black Lives Matter.
#127 says he thinks police are needed, believes the defund the police movement is "lunacy" and said Black Lives Matter is a political entity, saying "If these people were so benevolent, they could go to Chicago." @KSTP #DerekChauvinTrial— Kirsten Swanson (@KirstenKSTP) March 23, 2021
When the state prosecutor asked about his hatred of media, he stated that the "media will take a little grain of something and turn it into something else." He noted the biased media ranged from Fox News to CNN.
He believes in the police being "fair." He would tend to believe a police officer over an average bystander. He also believes it isn’t fair police officer’s decisions get reviewed.
The following is a story from the Associated Press.
The end of jury selection is in sight at the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.
The process inched forward Monday with one juror seated and several others rejected.
But only one more is needed to reach 15, the number Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said he wanted, before proceedings start next week.
Twelve will deliberate.
The only juror seated Monday is a white social worker in her 20s who says she has talked with friends about police reform and that she thinks “there are things that should be changed.” But she also described police and their jobs as important.
Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will have team coverage of the trial on-air and online. Here’s how to follow the daily developments:
KSTP’s full coverage of the trial, and all events leading up to it, can be found at KSTP.com.