State vs. Chauvin trial Day Seven: Jury selection continues, 9 jurors selected so far
The judge has released Juror No. 73. According to Minnesota law, it is ground to excuse for cause if the potential juror would credit the testimony of a police officer more than a civilian. The judge cited this reason for cause.
The court will reconvene Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. The Zoom call with seven of the selected jurors will take place at 8:45 a.m.
There were zero new jurors selected on Tuesday.
Juror No. 73 says he has heard of the Floyd settlement when asked if he had heard anything regarding the case.
He called the timing of the settlement "odd," saying that it came before a criminal trial but reassured the judge that it wouldn’t affect him. He noted to the judge if he were to serve on the jury, it would be a financial hardship, as he stated he’s self-employed. He works in the real estate industry.
"I didn’t want to do it," was the man’s response when asked what he thought when he was summoned. He told Nelson that he is able to apply the law even if he disagrees with it.
He shared that he has been married for 23 years and has three adult children.
The man says he hasn’t seen the full video of Floyd’s arrest. He has seen clips of the video "four to five times," as well as some still images.
When answering the questionnaire, he filled it out by saying that he had a somewhat negative impression of Floyd and Chauvin. He explained saying he thought Chauvin was a "hard a**," and that the determination on Floyd was based on his drug use. He says he is able to set aside his opinions for the trial.
Chauvin’s attorney asks about questionnaire response that Juror 73 has a "somewhat negative" impression of both #DerekChauvin and #GeorgeFloyd.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
Juror 73 says this is based on what he’s heard about their backgrounds and tells attorneys he can definitely set this aside.
Despite the potential juror saying he has "a couple" of friends who are police officers, the man stated it would not affect anything in the trial if he were to serve on the jury. He clarified that one of them is his best friend. He says they talk about once a week, and he has done a couple of ridealongs.
The man says regarding the belief that Black people are mistreated by police or the justice system, he says he doesn’t have an opinion on it, as well as other topics, such as Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, social injustice and protests.
Chauvin’s attorney asking potential Juror 73 about questionnaire responses of "somewhat agrees" that racial minorities are treated differently in the criminal justice system, "somewhat agrees" police in their community makes them feel safe but Juror doesn’t really elaborate.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
He believes people who are not in law enforcement should not be questioned about their decisions. He says in comparison to a bystander, he would believe police over them more often than not.
Schleicher "Do you believe that you would credit the testimony of a law enforcement officer, a little bit more than say, a bystander?"— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
Juror 73 says "I don’t know" but after clarification says "naturally I would believe the police officer more"
The court has reconvened. The judge has granted a challenge for cause and ask to move on.
Juror No. 73 will be questioned next.
Judge Cahill says he accepts State’s argument there are 2 issues, "One is what happened. And then what is the interpretation of it."— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
But his concern is that Juror 71 "gives what is ultimately the socially desirably answer but is always qualified by ‘I’ll try’"
Judge releases 71
When the state asked the potential juror if he could acquit Chauvin, even if the video is introduced as evidence, the potential juror again reaffirmed his stance.
"I’m going to do everything I can be to be fair and listen to everything presented in front of me and put aside any personal opinions," he said.
Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson now questioning potential Juror 71 again, raising concerns about answers in questionnaire incl. "I can’t un-see what I have seen, and I’m not sure how anything else would change my opinion."— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
Juror assures they can apply presumption of innocence.
He also mentioned on the questionnaire that he has no interest in serving on the jury, further stating that he "doesn’t need to fear for his wife, himself or two children’s safety." When asked about that from Nelson, the potential juror said he still feels like he can be fair and impartial. He also says he can make it work regarding his job and family.
The court is in recess until 3:25 p.m.
The judge and both parties are having a sidebar on the potential juror. They are discussing if the man can serve on the jury, after saying he would "try" to put personal feelings aside in this case.
The state is arguing to ask questions to Juror No. 71. The judge agrees to give the state that request.
Back on audio. Steve Schleicher with the state says "…this juror  was unequivocal when he said, the law is the law. I’m going to follow the law." #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Juror 71 asked to leave the room after State requested sidebar. Audio cut initially, now hearing from State.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher says Q isn’t whether the juror can "un-see" the video, it’s whether they can follow judge’s instructions -" clearly said he would"
Judge Cahill, "Do you think if you were the finder of fact that you would find he would be fair and impartial?"— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
Schleicher says would like to ask some more Q’s, doesn’t think could determine either way yet.
Juror No. 71 says he has heard about the third-degree murder charge and the settlement news recently. However, he says he is able to presume someone’s innocence until proven guilty. He adds he doesn’t believe the civil and criminal cases are related.
The juror describes himself as "a fun guy to be around," adding that he is very driven in his career. Has "a couple" of young kids and states he’s a family-oriented guy who is also a sports fan.
The potential juror says he initially had some safety concerns surrounding the trial, more so for his family. He explains he’s able to put those worries to the side to serve on the jury.
The man had a very strong and negative reaction to the Floyd video. He adds that the image of Chauvin is "seared" in his brain.
Chauvin’s attorney asks about description on questionnaire where potential Juror 71 wrote, "I feel officer Chauvin in particular took this man’s life, the video shows what it shows."— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
Nelson "Do you still agree with that statement?"
Juror 71 "Yes."
While Juror No. 71 has said that Chauvin "took this man’s life," he also stated that Floyd was not admirable "due to his life choices." He explained forming an opinion based on reports of drugs, the counterfeit bill and a report that Floyd "abused a female, which doesn’t sit right with me."
The juror says it will be difficult to "unsee" the Floyd arrest footage.
The defense continued to press the juror about his ability to set aside opinions and presume innocence. He says he can, and will do his best. However, the judge said, "I think the answer is not really," in regards to the juror.
Nelson really pressing Juror #71 about ability to set aside opinions and presume innocence. They say they can, will do their best.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Judge Cahill jumps in: "I think the answer is not really" #ChauvinTrial
The court is back in session. Four potential jurors will be reviewed to finish the day. The defense continues to raise its concerns in the case.
State Prosecutor Steve Schleicher and Defense Attorney Eric Nelson are exchanging perspectives with the judge regarding the case’s development. The defense has asked the court to automatically strike any potential juror who has heard of the settlement or the plea negotiations. Cahill asked whether Nelson felt he was restricted in asking about the settlement.
The defense asked to be given its last peremptory strike back and that Juror No. 69 should be excused for cause. Schleicher calls this "overblown," saying out of the 14 people questioned, only three people have heard about it. The state further argues that the defense is asking the court to presume that potential jurors are lying to him if they say they can set aside the fact if they have heard about the settlement.
Cahill reassures both the defense and state that it "will be a quick road to a challenge for cause." He adds that potential jurors are not intentionally lying, but perhaps they lack the introspection to understand whether they will be able to set aside their views.
Addressing the settlement announcement, Cahills called it "unfortunate," saying it is more of a political decision than a legal decision. He said he is more troubled by the leak of the potential plea agreement.
Juror No. 71 will be questioned to lead off the afternoon. Juror No. 70 has "postponed their service." The judge did not clarify what he meant by that.
Judge Cahill sees 2 issues:— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) March 16, 2021
1- articles shortly before trial about a possible plea bargain
2- $27 million settlement, which he says is “unfortunate but let’s face it, it’s not just a legal decision, it’s a political decision” & says people realize it. Not as concerned about it.
Juror No. 69 has been dismissed. The defense uses another peremptory challenge strike. Both the state and defense have four remaining.
Judge Cahill says when they bring back the jurors for further questioning regarding the settlement, it will be done via Zoom. The judge also denied a request for more strikes for the defense and jury sequestration. He also says the motion for continuance and change of venue is still being considered by Cahill.
The court is in recess until 1:30 p.m.
Judge Cahill says he’s granted the defense’s request to re-interview the 7 seated jurors. They’ll do that tomorrow.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Motion for continuance and change of venue still under consideration. #ChauvinTrial
Juror No. 69 being questioned now.
He made the judge aware of his knowledge of the Floyd family settlement made official Friday. He adds he is able to put his personal beliefs to the side to serve on the jury. The man says he is an avid outdoorsman and loves fishing.
Eric Nelson is asking Juror #69 about his knowledge of the civil settlement and that they understand it’s not part of the criminal case. #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
When asked about whether he was concerned about his safety if a certain verdict is reached, he replied he’s more concerned about a not guilty verdict. He adds that it wouldn’t influence his decision-making in the trial.
The defense has been going deeper into Juror No. 69’s answers on his questionnaire.
Juror #69 answered in questionnaire that it would be very difficult to presume Chauvin’s innocence give the video.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Nelson presses to see if they can set aside opinions and say they can be "an unbiased, fair, neutral juror in this case."
Juror #69: "Yes, I can."
The potential juror also has military experience.
He also wrote in the questionnaire that the protests were positive because of injustice. He believes there is police brutality "against people of certain races."
Juror No. 67 has been excused. The defense has used their first peremptory challenge strike of the day. They have five remaining. The state has four remaining.
The court is in recess until 11:15 a.m.
Nelson strikes Juror #67. Now on break until 11:15 a.m.#ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Juror No. 67 now takes the stand for questioning. He is an executive director of a youth organization.
Up to this point, he has formed a negative opinion of Chauvin. He says he hasn’t met either him nor Floyd, but he said "from both parties, it looked back."
He said he formed a somewhat negative impression of Floyd because "he was resisting arrest and was under the influence of drugs."
He noted he hasn’t seen the entire Floyd arrest video. He believes the community was affected in a positive and negative way after the unrest ensued.
Juror #67 shared what happened with their kids and then says they prayed for everyone involved, everyone protesting.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Eric Nelson asks if that included Derek Chauvin. Juror #67 says yes. #ChauvinTrial
In sharing his personal experiences with police, he says both of his parents have been arrested in the past, relating to domestic violence. He also says he encountered some aggressive police officers when he was accused of breaking into a skatepark with others in Georgia. The man told the defense it was a misunderstanding. It was resolved in the end.
He thinks discrimination exists, but also believes the media amplifies it, "whether good or bad."
He also stated, "I am for life, both Black and blue." When asked about the justice system, the potential juror believes there are a lot of "broken pieces to our whole system," adding that police brutality against BIPOC communities is "only the tip of the iceberg."
Juror No. 66 is being questioned now.
The woman says she hasn’t seen much relating to the case, but noted that she has seen some recent headlines. She said she has a relative who is a State Trooper. She says she would take law enforcement’s views at a higher value because of the relationship she has.
She also says she doesn’t want to be a part of the trial. She will be excused for hardship by the judge.
Juror #66 doesn’t believe they can be impartial. Tells Judge Cahill they don’t want to be a part of the trial. Says they have a lot of life changes right now… #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Dismissed for cause.
Juror No. 64 is a man who works for a software company. He tells the judge he has seen a lot of headlines because his company is building software for a media company.
Juror #64 is up now. They’re telling Judge Cahill about their job as a software development company for a major news organization and has been exposed to a lot of news. #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
He says he has been working on this project for the past three months, and noted to the judge that he is still working on the project with the media company. Despite seeing all of the headlines, the potential juror says he can be impartial.
The judge has dismissed the juror from serving on the jury.
Juror #64 says they saw the headline on the settlement.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Judge Cahill dismisses for cause. #ChauvinTrial
The judge has excused Juror No. 63 for cause. He noted her new career and hardship in serving would be difficult for her.
Juror No. 64 will be questioned now.
Juror #63 is dismissed for cause because of their position as a teacher and concern about their students in an already tumultuous time. #ChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) March 16, 2021
Juror No. 63 says she recently finished up her undergraduate degree and is currently a teacher.
She says she may see it as a hardship to serve on the jury during the trial.
Before jury selection began, the defense raised their concerns about asking for relief after the city of Minneapolis announced a settlement of $27 million to Floyd’s family Friday, while the jury-selection process has been ongoing.
The defense also asked for a continuance on Monday. Judge Cahill said they will address it Wednesday.
Questioning begins for Juror No. 63.
Before Jury selection, Defense raises their concerns about asking for relief after City of MPLS $27M civil settlement was announced during criminal jury selection. #DerekChauvinTrial defense asked yesterday for a continuance in trial, judge says he will take up tomorrow.— Eric Chaloux (@EricChalouxKSTP) March 16, 2021
Court reconvened at 8 a.m. Tuesday as attorneys and Judge Peter Cahill discussed motions.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, argued to allow evidence from a prior arrest of Floyd. The state said the defense is simply trying to damage Floyd’s character.
Cahill said he’d take the arguments under advisement.
Jury selection is set to resume at 9:10 a.m.
There have been nine jurors seated so far for the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.
Jury selection is an element being closely watched in a case where race plays such a central role. Nine jurors have been seated through Monday, including five who are white, one who is multiracial, two who are Black and one who is Hispanic.
Jury selection resumes Tuesday and will continue until 14 people are picked, including two alternates.
Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson has asked for the trial to be delayed, complaining that Friday’s news that Minneapolis will pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit by the Floyd family risks tainting the jury.
The judge didn’t immediately grant the request but said he would consider it.
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