Thursday, May 26

George Floyd assassination: more jurors chosen in Derek Chauvin’s trial before a new hiatus | George Floyd

Attorneys in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death last year, questioned potential jurors Wednesday about their attitudes toward law enforcement and the movement. Black Lives Matter.

This week marks the first week of the unusually long three-week jury selection period. It’s an extensive process during which attorneys ask prospective jurors one by one if they can keep an open mind, what they think of the criminal justice system, how they resolve disputes, and more.

The questioning began on Monday, March 8, and continued until Wednesday when two more jurors were seated, bringing the total to five of the required 12 jurors now seated.

Of the five jurors, three are white men, one is a multilingual black man who immigrated to the United States 14 years ago, and a woman of color.

In reality, the process began months ago, when prospective jurors responded to a lengthy questionnaire that explored their familiarity with the case and their own contacts with the police. The questionnaires have not been made public and the identities of the jurors are kept secret.

One selected man said he views the racial justice movement more favorably than the police. The man, who works in sales management and grew up in a mostly white part of central Minnesota, told the court: “Are there bad cops? Yes. Are there good ones? Yes. I don’t think it’s correct to blame the entire organization. “

The man joined three others who were selected for the panel on Tuesday, the first day of jury selection in Derek Chauvin’s trial on murder and second-degree murder charges.

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Floyd was pronounced dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to a nationwide settling of scores on race. Chauvin and three other officers were fired. The others face trial in August on charges of complicity.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher used a challenge Wednesday to remove from the panel a woman who has a nephew who is a deputy sheriff in western Minnesota. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, exercised two of his 15 peremptory challenges Tuesday over potential jurors who identify as Hispanic, prompting prosecutors to object that jurors were being rejected because of their race.

Judge Peter Cahill disagreed, noting that the second Hispanic jury to be fired had martial arts experience and referred to Chauvin’s restriction as an “illegal” move.

Jury selection is delayed while Cahill considers reviving a third-degree murder charge in addition to Chauvin’s murder and second-degree murder charges. The state asked the Minnesota appeals court to stop the proceedings until it is resolved. The Minnesota Supreme Court declined to address the third-degree murder issue, leaving the decision to include the charge and continue the trial in the hands of Judge Cahill.

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