State vs. Chauvin trial Day 11: Jury selection enters 3rd week
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.
Juror No. 123 has been excused by the judge.
The audio was turned off due to personal information being shared.
The court is in recess until Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Judge Cahill addresses the last juror, who was excused after the defense had to use a peremptory challenge strike on them. The defense now has three remaining.
The judge said it wasn’t enough to excuse the juror for cause. Juror No. 123 will be next to be questioned.
Sounds like Judge Cahill didn’t find Juror #121 credible, but the defense still had to use a peremptory strike.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 22, 2021
Judge Cahill says they can revisit that if the defense runs out of strikes. They have three left. #ChauvinTrial
Juror No. 121 has been excused. It’s unknown if a peremptory challenge strike was used or not, as the audio was turned down before the judge could give an explanation.
I’m not sure if there was a motion to dismiss for cause, a strike or what…but they’re now taking a 20 minute break. #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 22, 2021
Juror No. 121 being questioned now.
He says he has watched the news but hasn’t seen much regarding this case. He works at a retail workhouse. He enjoys music, works on audio and film production as a hobby and also enjoys writing. He adds he tries to keep up on philosophy and social issues.
Chauvin’s attorney asking how potential Juror 121 would resolve conflict during deliberation process.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 22, 2021
Juror 121 says, "I would just try to make sure both parties respect what the other party has to say .. allowing them to hear each other out"
When the juror in question answered the questionnaire, he had some strong opinions on the case. He believed Floyd did not resist arrest and claimed the officers did nothing to prevent what happened.
He wrote in the questionnaire that Chauvin used unnecessary force on Floyd.
He tells the defense he would be willing to set aside his strong opinions to serve on the jury. He says all of his opinions were based on what he had seen up to that point.
Juror 121 responded on questionnaire that they have a "very negative" impression of Chauvin and wrote they thought he used "excessive force".— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 22, 2021
Nelson asks, "You can put all of your previous assumptions aside, start from zero…and presume Mr. Chauvin innocent?"
121 responds yes.
He supports defunding the Minneapolis Department, explaining that "a few things need to be changed." He stated in court that it isn’t so much defunding as it is reallocating funds to areas in need.
The man believes the riots and destruction of property left a negative impact on the incident. However, he added that it began to open perspectives up to have different people understand each other’s point of view.
Chauvin’s attorney asked Juror No. 121 why they "somewhat agree" that police are more likely to use force when confronting Black suspects than white suspects. He stated his opinions on that are based on articles and videos he has seen.
The juror would-be juror says he has been arrested before by the Apple Valley Police Department for missing a court date. He says he did not have a negative experience with police regarding that arrest. It happened about "8 or 9" years ago.
Juror 121 was previously arrested by Apple Valley PD. Chauvin’s attorney asks whether they feel they were treated fairly, Juror 121 says they were treated fairly.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 22, 2021
This Juror was given the option to speak about this privately but said they were okay talking about it publicly.
When asked about the criminal justice system in general terms, the potential juror stated "it works well in theory, however, money corrupts, even the best of intentions."
Juror No. 120 has been dismissed. The judge dismissed him for cause.
Judge is releasing him for cause. Juror had said he leaned toward "guilty" in the case.— Eric Chaloux (@EricChalouxKSTP) March 22, 2021
Juror No. 120 being questioned next.
Judge Cahill asks them if they’re hoping for one verdict or another…or neutral.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 22, 2021
Juror #120 says they don’t think they’re neutral. Long pause…and then says, "I would say guilty." #ChauvinTrial
Juror No. 119 has been dismissed for cause after they expressed difficulty in applying the presumption of innocence.
Juror No. 118 has been accepted on the jury. She is the 14th confirmed member. Judge Cahill said he wants an extra alternative, so one more is needed.
The 14th juror is noted to be a white woman in her 20s.
The court will go into recess until 1:30 p.m.
Juror No. 118 being questioned now. She works as a social worker and coordinates independent living.
"I started out and decided I want to help people," she said about her career and finding her path in college.
The person in question says she is able to switch her opinion based on facts. She enjoys learning other perspectives, saying "it opens my eyes as well."
The juror says she heard about the settlement with the city and Floyd’s family. She doesn’t know much else aside from the amount of money settled. She also believes it won’t impact her judgment on the case.
She says the protests had a positive impact, while the riots had a negative impact.
She states she does not support "getting rid of police" and strongly disagrees with defunding the Minneapolis Police Department. Regarding Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, she says it all comes to down to believing that everyone’s life matters.
Nelson: Now your training as a social worker, you are trained to deal with people who are having mental health crises Correct?— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 22, 2021
Juror #118: Yes.
Nelson confirms with Juror #118 that their training is likely different from that of a police officer. #ChauvinTrial
The woman said she has had conversations with family about Floyd’s death. Her family members say Chauvin’s knee should not have had his knee on Floyd’s neck for so long.
The court has reconvened. Juror No. 117 being questioned now.
Regarding the juror’s language barrier, she has been excused from serving on the jury by the judge.
The juror has been excused from serving on the jury. The state prosecution team uses a peremptory challenge strike. They have two remaining.
The court is in recess until 11 a.m.
The next juror is being questioned.
Juror No. 116 says he avoids the news but still has heard about the case through other outlets. He believes "everyone" has the ability to be convinced about something but can learn they are wrong.
He considers himself an avid fisherman. He noted his employer would not be covering for his jury service. He said it would cut into his family’s savings and put more pressure on his wife. He works as a repairman.
Nelson: Have you ever been 100% convinced about something, only to later learn you are wrong?— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 22, 2021
Juror #116: I think everyone has. #ChauvinTrial
The man said he saw the negative impacts of this event came from the riots and looting, but adds he believes it’s positive for the awareness it brought to everyone.
He has a "somewhat negative" view of Black Lives Matter, explaining that "the riots don’t help" that image. He can differentiate between protests and riots.
The man believes that white and Black people are treated differently in society. He didn’t have any personal experience regarding that, or any observations on it. He bases his opinion on media coverage.
He says he was made aware of the case because "during that time, you can’t avoid it."
The man called the U.S. Capitol insurrection a "protest," but also noted it as a riot.
The potential juror likes to avoid conflict when he can.
The juror has been excused from serving on the jury. The defense has used a peremptory challenge strike. They have four remaining to use, and the state has three left.
Jurors are being sworn in for the day.
Juror No. 115 will be the first questioned in court on Monday. The juror states she goes with her gut feeling in determining if someone is telling the truth or not.
Nelson asks how they determine if someone is telling the truth.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 22, 2021
Juror #115: I am a pretty bad person to tell when someone’s telling the truth or lying. And I know that for a fact, but I just kind of, you know, go with my gut feeling…
She acknowledges that she has also been "diligent" in avoiding any news coverage surrounding this case. She adds that she is able to change her opinion on things.
She works as a nursing assistant.
Her initial opinion of Chauvin was answered as "somewhat negative" on the questionnaire. She stated that Floyd shouldn’t have died and that the other officers should have intervened. However, the juror states she didn’t know what led up to the incident.
She noted in court she participated in protests over the summer. The potential juror told the defense she had "never done it before" and that she "saw it in movies" so she figured "why not." A friend wanted her to come with her. She also believes the riots afterward left a negative opinion on them.
The juror "strongly agrees" that police make her feel safe, but also stated she believes that it’s not the same treatment for all races.
"Historically in this country, Black people have been oppressed… that’s why I support Black Lives Matter," she says. She further explained that she doesn’t support Blue Lives Matter because "they don’t have to wear that uniform as much as someone as a permanent skin color."
The Associated Press contributed to the following story.
Jury selection enters a third week Monday for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.
Thirteen jurors have been seated for Derek Chauvin’s trial on murder and manslaughter charges, with the judge saying two more will be seated ahead of opening statements expected March 29. Only 12 will deliberate. The others will be alternates, needed only if some jurors are unable to to serve for any reason.
On Friday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill declined a defense request to delay or move Chauvin’s trial over concerns that a $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family had tainted the jury pool.
Cahill, who called the timing "unfortunate," said he believed a delay would do nothing to stem the problem of pretrial publicity, and that there’s no place in Minnesota untouched by that publicity.
In another significant ruling Friday, the judge handed the defense a victory by ruling that the jury can hear evidence from Floyd’s 2019 arrest, but only information possibly pertaining to the cause of his death in 2020. He acknowledged several similarities between the two encounters, including that Floyd swallowed drugs after police confronted him.
The judge previously said the earlier arrest could not be admitted, but he reconsidered after drugs were found in January in a second search of the police SUV that the four officers attempted to put Floyd in last year. The defense argues that Floyd’s drug use contributed to his death.
Cahill said he’d allow medical evidence of Floyd’s physical reactions, such as his dangerously high blood pressure when he was examined by a paramedic in 2019, and a short clip of an officer’s body camera video. He said Floyd’s "emotional behavior," such as calling out to his mother, won’t be admitted.
The county medical examiner classified Floyd’s death as a homicide in an initial summary that said he "had a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by police." Floyd was declared dead at a hospital 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from where he was restrained.
The full report said he died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." A summary report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under "other significant conditions" but not under "cause of death."
The 13 jurors seated through Friday are split by race: Seven are white, four are Black and two are multiracial, according to the court.
Only two alternates had been expected before Friday, when Cahill said the court would seek 15 — meaning three alternates. A court spokesman, asked to explain the apparent change, cited a November order that called for up to 16 jurors.
It’s unclear which jurors would be alternates. Legal experts said it’s almost always the last people chosen, but the court said that wouldn’t necessarily be the case for Chauvin’s jury.