Jurors in George Floyd’s historic murder trial spoke about the life-changing case, and how the experience still affects them, in an interview. with CNN on Thursday.
Seven jurors, out of a total of 12, sat down with CNN’s Don Lemon for their first and only interview since the trial, where Derek Chauvin was convicted of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree murder. grade in April. 2021.
“It’s definitely in my spirit and it will always be there,” Sherri Belton Hardeman said of the video showing George Floyd’s death.
Another juror, Nicole Deters, added: “We came here because of systemic racism within the system, right, because of what has been happening. This is how we get to a courtroom in the first place. But when it came down to all three verdicts, it was based on evidence and facts 100%. “
International Protests against racial injustice and police brutality erupted after the murder of Floyd, a black man, by Chauvin, a white police officer, was recorded on a cell phone camera and widely shared. Chauvin had Floyd pinned to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes outside a grocery store after police responded to a claim that Floyd had tried to spend a fake $ 20 bill.
Many of the jurors recounted their experience watching the video in court, the first time some of them saw the images.
“It upset me a lot,” said Jodi Doud, who withdrew from her family and friends while serving as a jury member in Chauvin’s trial. “How could someone do that to someone else? And it was a slow death. It wasn’t just a shot and they are dead.
“Still, to this day, it’s getting to me,” Doud added.
“I had a big gasp,” Belton Hardeman said. “I have never experienced anything like this before. I don’t think any of us have. It was very, very traumatic. And it only hurt, it only hurt my whole soul, my whole body. And I felt pain for his family. “
In the interview, the jurors revealed more information about their deliberation process, which lasted more than 10 hours in two days, after the jurors heard about three weeks of testimony.
“The first thing we did was, one, we took off our [face] masks and then we exchange names, ”Deters said.
“Some of us were feeling a little anxious because we had been holding all of this for three and a half weeks,” Brandon Mitchell said.
After casting a first round of what would be many votes, the jurors began to analyze the different arguments on both sides, using a blackboard to organize their thoughts.
During deliberations, while group members were still debating the testimony they had heard, the group had what they described as a “lightbulb moment,” when Doud asked jurors if the alleged act of harm could also be the fact. about what Chauvin was unable to provide life support to Floyd after he stopped responding.
“This is not what he did, but more or less what he did not do,” added Doud, referring to Chauvin. “He did not provide measures to save George Floyd’s life when he knew the guy was in pain or needed medical attention.”
Belton Hardeman said she was affected by the Minneapolis Police Department slogan she heard in court: “In our custody, in our care.”
“George Floyd was in their custody,” he said. “He was never under her care. And that to me … it just hit hard. I don’t feel like they ever cared about him, ”he said.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism