State vs. Chauvin: Jury selection begins | KSTP.com

State vs. Chauvin: Jury selection begins

State vs. Chauvin: Jury selection begins Photo: KSTP-TV.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: March 09, 2021 04:43 PM
Created: March 08, 2021 01:37 PM

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will have team coverage of Derek Chauvin's trial on-air and online. Here's how to follow the daily developments:


Watch live video coverage of the trial each day on our website or the KSTP YouTube page. KSTP's full coverage of the trial, and all events leading up to it, can be found on our website. You can also follow the latest developments on our KSTP-TV Facebook page and KSTP Twitter feed.


4:30 p.m.

Juror No. 19 has been approved to serve on the jury. This marks the third juror accepted, with it being one woman and two men so far. 

Juror No. 19 considers himself as an "honest person, straightforward and easy to talk to."

He said in court he doesn't have any concerns about his or his family's safety for serving as a jury member in the case. He works as an auditor, and resolves conflict as a team at his job. He mentioned he would keep an open mind until all evidence is present and considered in court, even though he has viewed the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd "at least three times," but not in full.

The juror mentioned he had a "friend of a friend" who is a K-9 officer for the Minneapolis Police Department. He says before COVID-19, he would see this officer at least twice a year, but said the relationship has no impact on his judgments in this case. 

Regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, he supports the general context of it, saying "Black lives do matter." He does have an unfavorable opinion of the Blue Lives Matter ideology. 

He confirmed to both sides that he would be able to set aside personal opinions in favor of facts. 

The court had one potential juror remaining for the day, but they will continue Tuesday morning with that person. Court is expected to reconvene at 8 a.m., with jurors brought in around 9 a.m.


3:53 p.m.

Juror No. 17 has been dismissed. Judge Cahill says he feels there is possibly a better jury for him to serve on in the future. 

The judge also noted that the juror said he struggled to focus in school, which could be problematic during the trial. 

The court will continue on, as there is still no update on the Court of Appeals determining the jurisdiction of continuing or halting the trial.


3:07 p.m.

Potential Juror No. 17 is in the process of being questioned, but Judge Cahill has issued the court in recess until 3:25 p.m.

The juror appears anxious in the courtroom, saying he does not want to serve on the jury for multiple reasons. When he received his summons to serve, he said "why me."

The juror refers to himself as a very open-minded, deep thinker. He also says he has the belief that there are "a lot of bad cops, specifically MPD," and noted how he feels intimidated by police. He told the defense, "I think this whole thing is just very divisive." He further stated he doesn't want people to know he served on the jury.

He mentioned in court that his father had been racially profiled before by an officer in Minneapolis during a traffic stop. He said his father doesn't break the law. 

The session concluded before the break with the potential juror stating he wasn't sure if he can remain impartial, despite evidence being provided to possibly change one's mind.

One thing to note as the jury selection goes forward: jury members numbered 5-7 were dismissed Monday afternoon among a group of 16 based solely on the questionnaire responses. Other jurors dismissed include 11-16, 18, 22, 24, 25, 32, 35, 45, 47 and 50. They were all dismissed Monday. Juror No. 1, 3-4, 6-8 were dismissed Tuesday.


2:48 p.m.

Juror No. 10 has been dismissed due to his safety and work reasons. 

He said he may have to work after the trial, and the judge's reasoning was he did not want someone falling asleep in court. The man works as an accountant, and with it being the time of year for taxes, that adds to the problem for that potential juror. 

He added he felt "uneasy" if his name is released after the trial to be a target of organizations. He did not specify. 


2:28 p.m. 

Juror No. 9 has been accepted to serve on the jury. She is the second confirmed juror, joining Juror No. 2. 

Juror No. 9 is from northern Minnesota, and mentioned her uncle is a police officer in Brainerd. However, she said in court that her uncle's occupation would make zero impact on her decision. She also described herself as a mediator between her friends, able to solve conflict by reading people's body language and using logic. 

In regards to both the Black Lives Matter movement and the Blue Lives Matter ideology, she believes that both are a "bigger scheme" to get people to buy merchandise. 

She showed her excitement to be summoned and confirmed to serve on the jury, stating she "finds the process fascinating."

She confirmed to the defense and state prosecutors that she is able to put opinions aside in return for facts and evidence to make an accurate decision.


1:45 p.m.

Juror No. 8 has been excused and he will not serve on the jury. State prosecutors issued a peremptory challenge strike, their first used so far. The state has eight left; the defense has 13 remaining. 

"I have a lot of respect for police... and I know they go through training," he said in court.

Juror No. 8, a military veteran from the National Guard, reiterated it was wrong to "second-guess an officer's decision," prompting the strike to come down. The court will continue with Juror No. 9.


1:30 p.m. 

The court has reconvened to address Juror No. 8. 


12:37 p.m. 

The court is in recess until 1:30 p.m. for a lunch break.

The fifth potential juror, or identified as juror No. 8, described himself as a "kind, fair family man." He also described himself as a Christian. He says he has never been called for jury duty. He mentioned in court that he has safety concerns about being called to serve, as he and his wife feared being in Minneapolis following the unrest and riots that followed the 2020 Memorial Day incident at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. On his questionnaire, he said he has friends who moved out of downtown condos.

The man formed a negative opinion of Chauvin's actions in the questionnaire and added that he didn't feel like the justice system is fair, speaking in general terms. He told the defense he had a neutral feeling regarding Floyd. 

This potential juror has expressed more fear about being on this jury than any of the prior jurors questioned. 

After watching the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd, he formed a strong opinion on the case, but said he is willing to have his mind changed. Juror No. 8 says he has a negative view of the Black Lives Matter movement and has favorable views of Blue Lives Matter.

The prosecution team said they will have a long line of questioning for the juror when the court reconvenes. 


12:05 p.m.

Juror No. 4 has been dismissed. The reasoning was due to the defense using a peremptory challenge strike on the juror. Juror No. 4 has identified himself as a Hispanic man who moved to Minnesota from Southern California recently. The defense has 13 peremptory challenge strikes remaining, with the prosecution having nine left. 

The prosecution also attempted to use a Batson challenge, which is used to prevent attorneys from dismissing a potential juror based solely on race. The prosecution stated that Juror No. 4 answered similarly to Juror No. 2, who is white. 

The defense argued that there are differences between the two compared. Juror No. 2 did not see the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd, while Juror No. 4 has "more preconceived notions of the case." Judge Cahill said there is a difference and that race-neutral reasoning is valid. Cahill added that the martial arts background of Juror No. 4 could be potentially problematic when it came to the knee-to-neck evidence. Cahill further stated that the juror would put the burden on the defense to prove innocence based on his opinions on the case.

Juror No. 4 had also stated in court, "there could have been a different outcome" in the interaction with police, also noting some past negative experiences with police in California. 


11:25 a.m.

Juror No. 3 has been excused due to "cause," according to Judge Peter Cahill. The potential juror said she has followed a lot of the news via Instagram stories and noted that she believed it would be difficult for her to change her opinion from the evidence already provided up to this point. 

She noted that she hoped for "a specific outcome," regardless of what may be presented. 

The judge says they will continue on with the next juror until 12:30 p.m.


11:10 a.m.

Court reconvenes. Juror No. 3 begins to be questioned by Judge Peter Cahill, defense attorney Eric Nelson and prosecutor Steve Schleicher. 


10:45 a.m.

Juror No. 2 has been selected to serve on the jury during the Derek Chauvin trial. He is the first to be selected. 

The juror is a chemist with an environmental science degree and science background. He said he has not yet seen the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, but has seen the still image. He mentioned he has visited the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue because "it happened in my city. It was a transformative event." The juror also stated that mandatory minimums are racially biased, based on statistics. However, he told the defense he does not believe that the Minneapolis Police Department is more likely to confront Black suspects with more force than white suspects. 

Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked the juror if he fit one of the two following categories: some people intentionally respond to jury questionnaires to attempt to get off the jury, and others try to get on the jury with underlying factors. His response was, "my answers were truthful."

He also has a background in resolving conflicts, as he served as a summer camp counselor for "7 to 8 summers." A pool reporter in the courtroom says the first official juror is a white man in his 20s or 30s.

Neither the defense nor prosecution team attempted to challenge the acceptance of the juror. Court is now in recess until 11:10 a.m.


10 a.m.

Court reconvenes. Juror No. 2 begins to be questioned by Judge Peter Cahill, defense attorney Eric Nelson and prosecutor Steve Schleicher. 


9:50 a.m.

Juror No. 1 has been excused. Judge Peter Cahill said the reason was due to some of her answers, including a question from the defense regarding why she wanted to participate in the trial as a juror. She responded in the questionnaire, "I would like to give my opinion on the unjust death of George Floyd." 

The judge also mentioned a concern about her English proficiency, as she told the defense on a scale of 1-10 (1 being a struggle with English, 10 excelling with it) she responded, "7," but also mentioned she had to use a dictionary to look up some of the meaning of words on the questionnaire. The judge determined she would not be able to fully follow the proceedings and he dismissed her. The potential juror was excused after the defense used a peremptory challenge. 

Judge Cahill also mentioned that one Plexiglass panel will be removed, as the potential jurors can be seen in a reflection on it. 


9 a.m.

Court reconvenes. The first potential juror begins to be questioned by the judge and defense attorney Eric Nelson. 


8:30 a.m.

The trial of Derek Chauvin resumed at 8 a.m. Tuesday with Judge Peter Cahill discussing additional motions with each side.

The court went into recess until 9 a.m. with jury selection moving forward at that time.


Original story:

The second day of Derek Chauvin's trial is set to begin Tuesday morning.

Jury selection was originally set to begin on Monday but was delayed after the Minnesota Court of Appeals was asked to weigh in whether or not jurisdiction had been passed back to the district court.

Judge Peter Cahill heard motions from both sides Monday afternoon before ruling that jury selection would begin Tuesday morning unless he was told otherwise by the Court of Appeals.


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