State vs. Chauvin trial Day Nine: 2 alternate jurors left to be selected

4:20 p.m.

Due to safety reasons, Juror No. 95 has been excused from the jury by the judge.

The court will reconvene at 8:15 a.m. to address the pending motions. Jury selection will continue at 9 a.m.

4:05 p.m.

Juror No. 95 said they were "surprised" to hear the settlement happened before the trial began with a jury selected.

He recognizes it is a separate case, but stated he looks at the criminal case differently.

"Of course when anything is settled, you look at maybe the person was guilty," he said.

In regards to presuming Chauvin’s innocence, the juror tells the judge he is "somewhat in the middle." With that being said, the juror says he is able to "start from scratch" to be impartial.

The man says he is a nonjudgmental person, gets along with everyone and socialized often. He is an avid cricket fan.

He shared his concern for safety for him and his family if his identity was revealed. However, he says he would not be able to focus on the evidence in this case due to that reason.

4 p.m.

Juror No. 92 has been accepted to serve on the jury. She is the 12th confirmed member.

Juror No. 95 will be questioned next.

3:10 p.m.

Juror No. 92 being questioned now.

She describes herself as family-oriented and loves working in the insurance industry. She communicates client concerns with the company she works at. This woman tells the court she has been working from home since the pandemic happened. She does not have any concerns with showing up downtown for this trial.

The juror refers to herself as more of an "observer" when it comes to attempting to reach common ground with people.

She has seen the viral bystander video clip on the news. She did not see the original video on social media.

In regards to Chauvin, she says she is aware of his tax crimes but stated that would not create bias in the trial. She also has heard some information surrounding Floyd as well, due to "drug charges" or "being involved with drugs." She viewed both in a "negative" view due to their past, according to the questionnaire she filled out.

She said in court she has had at least one friend who struggled with alcohol addiction. She doesn’t think someone with an addiction can be labeled as a "bad person," and is "cautious" around individuals like that. She believes people can act more violently or aggressively than someone else who is not. She doesn’t believe that is always the case, stating it depends on the drug or situation they are in. The woman does not believe people with drug addictions should be met with violence due to their personal issue.

The juror believes that there’s both a positive and negative impact that followed the protests. She said the protests were positive, but the rioting was negative.

She acknowledges that discrimination exists, saying "Blacks are treated differently than whites." The woman shared that some of her friends have told her stories about being called names due to their race.

She has a favorable opinion of both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter.

She believes police departments don’t need to be "dismantled," but stated police "need improvement." She says a community outreach "wouldn’t work very well," stating the riots as an example. In regards to the change she would like to see happen, she states discrimination is the biggest issue.

She has a bachelor’s degree in communication. She attended college out of state.

2:50 p.m.

Juror No. 91 has been accepted to serve on the jury. She is the 11th confirmed member of the jury. Three spots (two alternatives) are still needed.

The court is in recess until 3:10 p.m.

2:15 p.m.

Questioning for Juror No. 91 continues. She heard the news of the settlement but says it should play no factor in them being on the jury. She also noted she knows someone on the Minneapolis Police Department, who is not on the witness list. She added that despite the relationship, it would not play any factor in her decision-making.

She says she is a grandmother.

"I guess I was kind of excited to possibly have an opportunity, never served on a jury before," she said in response to how she reacted when she was summoned.

She said in regards to getting to the same result, "…we just have to work harder to get to common truth."

She tells the defense she has seen the video for "4 to 5" minutes. She saw the video on social media. She turned the video off because she felt it wasn’t something she needed to see. She also shared that she grew up in south Minneapolis.

She believes the area was "affected" after the death of Floyd.

"So many of the stores were looted, destroyed," she said, adding that her brother was affected by not being able to get medication delivered from the post office after it was destroyed.

She says the difference between a protest and a riot is "protesting for something you believe in" and rioting is "finding places to destroy."

The defense asked her if it’s right to second guess decisions police make on duty.

"I think officers have to have the power to make the best decision in that moment," adding that those decisions need to be questioned sometimes.

She also believes all lives matter, but further stated "I am Black and my life matters."

She tells state prosecutors she has been retired for five years. She used to work in marketing for a financial company. The woman says she enjoys teaching children and "helping them find their way" through volunteer opportunities.

1:53 p.m.

Juror No. 90 has been dismissed by the judge for cause.

A new jury pool is being addressed. Juror No. 91 will be questioned next.

1:30 p.m.

Questioning is ongoing for Juror No. 90.

The juror in question says they have some personal safety concerns and calls it "daunting" to serve on the jury for this case.

The man works in information technology services. He said he has never seen the Floyd video but has seen some still images from the incident.

The potential juror says he has formed strong opinions about the case, further stating that he believes Chauvin caused Floyd’s death. However, he has reiterated that he can be fair and impartial regarding the trial. He has formed a negative opinion on Chauvin.

The juror says he does not trust the police. He also said he is unable to believe an officer who is under oath.

When the state prosecutor asked if he can set aside his personal feelings towards police, he said he would not be able to.

12:12 p.m.

Juror No. 89 will become the 10th person confirmed on the jury. There are four spots left to be filled.

The judge says they will take a recess until 1:15-1:30 p.m.

10:58 a.m.

The court has reconvened. Juror No. 89 will be questioned to start.

The announcement of the city settlement was heard by this juror. She stated she doesn’t believe that information learned will impact her decision-making as a juror. She noted that she wants to consider all sides.

The woman tells the court she is a nurse and lives alone in Edina.

The juror has shared her concerns after the trial when the jury may be revealed.

She has not formed an opinion on who is responsible for Floyd’s death. She stated that she also "strongly" agrees that the criminal justice system doesn’t treat Black people and people of color equally in comparison to others.

The would-be juror answered in the questionnaire that she "strongly agrees" that police make her feel safe, however, she stated she doesn’t trust them because "they are human."

She also said she was in a "somewhat favorable" stance on Black Lives Matter and a "somewhat unfavorable" stance on Blue Lives Matter. She says she is able to judge the case based on merits.

The defense has also asked extensive questioning about the juror’s work and how it could relate to the trial.

In sharing more information on her work, she says it’s been busy lately as she works with "ventilated patients" involving COVID-19. She had previously worked in an intensive care setting and cardiac care. She also said she sees a lot of patients that have an opioid addiction. She stated that she is always willing to help anyone who needs medical assistance.

10:31 a.m.

After a discussion with the audio off, Juror No. 88 has been excused.

The court is in recess until 10:50 a.m.

10:20 a.m.

Juror No. 88 is being questioned.

The potential juror says she heard about the settlement but didn’t know the amount. She also heard last week about the number of jurors admitted but hasn’t heard anything since.

10:10 a.m.

The state prosecution team has used a peremptory challenge strike on Juror No. 87, their sixth used so far. They have four remaining.

9:30 a.m.

Juror No. 87, a mother of five, says she was a "little nervous" about being summoned to jury duty for this case. She said she hasn’t seen any of the recent headlines relating to the case.

She says it made her "feel sad" to see the extra precautions taken in downtown Minneapolis around the courthouse.

The woman noted she has never seen any video of Floyd’s arrest. However, she has seen a still frame from the video. The juror said her neighbor is a BCA assistant special agent in charge. She addressed it, saying it would not affect her opinion in the case.

She told the defense she has a son who attended the protests. She says his actions and beliefs would not sway her opinion.

The woman tells the court she has "strong respect" for law enforcement. She did not see any positives come out of the protests, as she associates the protests with the riots. She added, "the city’s reputation has taken a hit" after the unrest.

Regarding Black Lives Matter, she agrees with the statement, not the organization itself. She answered that she had a "very unfavorable" opinion of the organization.

"I don’t agree with the founding principles and a lot of the positions the organization Black Lives Matter holds to," she told attorney Eric Nelson.

She stated she is neutral on Blue Lives Matter. She also says she has a relative who is a former sheriff.

The woman has spoken to people about racial discrimination. She doesn’t believe the justice system "was written in to be discriminatory."

9:20 a.m.

Juror No. 86 is questioned first to start the day.

She stated she is drawn to one side of the courtroom in this case, which is opposite Chauvin’s. For that reason, the judge dismissed her.

Juror No. 87 will be questioned next.

8:30 a.m.

The court discussed expert testimony on Floyd’s mental state Thursday morning.

After further discussion, Judge Peter Cahill said he would take it under advisement and announce a ruling Friday morning.

Additionally, the judge granted the defense three more peremptory challenge strikes and the state was granted an additional strike. The defense now has six remaining; the state has five.

The following is from the Associated Press.

Concern appears to be fading that a massive settlement for George Floyd’s family would derail the trial of a former police officer accused in his death, with most potential jurors saying they had avoided news of the settlement or could set it aside.

Two jurors seated before news of the city’s $27 million settlement broke last week were dismissed Wednesday after being re-questioned by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, but five others were retained.

One of those who were retained, a Black man, told Cahill he heard about the settlement on the radio Friday but that he could put it aside and decide the case only on the evidence that was presented in the courtroom.

"It hasn’t affected me at all because I don’t know the details," he said.

Two new jurors were seated later in the day, putting the jury back at nine. Five are men and four are women. Five are white, one is multiracial and three are Black, and their ages range from 20s to 50s.

The jurors

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Fourteen jurors, including two alternates, are needed for former officer Derek Chauvin’s trial on murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd’s death.

Cahill has set March 29 for opening statements if the jury is complete by then. Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson, who requested jurors be recalled for re-questioning because of the settlement, has also asked that the trial be delayed or moved elsewhere. Cahill said he would rule Friday on those motions.

The two new jurors include a Black man in his 40s who said he works in management and has lived in the Twin Cities area for about two decades after immigrating to the United States, and a white woman in her 40s who works as a consultant.

The man said he had a neutral view of Chauvin and could start with a presumption of innocence. He said he trusts police, but that it would be fair for a jury to evaluate the officer’s actions.

KSTP’s complete trial coverage

The woman said she agreed that police don’t always treat white and Black people equally, but that she has a pretty strong faith in police in her community. She said it’s important for people to cooperate with police.

"I’ve probably been taught or learned along the way that you respect police and you do what they ask," she said.

Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd. Floyd’s death in police custody, captured on bystander video, set off weeks of sometimes-violent protests across the country and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.

The judge is also expected to rule Friday on Nelson’s request to admit evidence of Floyd’s 2019 arrest in Minneapolis.

Three other former officers face an August trial in Floyd’s death on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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