Day Five in Chauvin trial; One juror seated, seven total so far

Day Five of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues with the process of jury selection. Day Five of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues with the process of jury selection. |  Photo: WDIO-TV

WDIO
Updated: March 13, 2021 11:26 AM
Created: March 12, 2021 10:19 AM

Day five of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continued on Friday, with the process of jury selection. Six jurors had been seated, five men and one woman, prior to starting Friday. There are eight seats in the jury left to fill.  The attorneys made it through the questioning of five jurors.  One juror, No. 44 was seated Friday.  The court is in recess until 8 a.m. Monday.

Here are the happenings during Day Four of court proceedings:  There were no motions to discuss, so the proceedings began at 9 a.m. with questioning of Juror No. 42.  

Juror No. 42, is described to be a white woman in her 20s, who is a recent college graduate. The juror says she enjoys playing hockey and being in the outdoors. She adds she played the sport while she was in school. She describes herself as a "genuine person."

When it comes to finding the truth in conflict, she tells the defense that she is willing to look at more than one aspect (such as fingerprints, etc. in a criminal case). However, she formed a negative impression on Chauvin.

"I could only watch part of the video... as a human... that didn't give me a good impression," she told attorney Eric Nelson, saying she couldn't finish watching the video, calling it an "inhumane action by Chauvin."

The juror says she participated in a Black Lives Matter protest in Duluth and had cousins participating in the same protests in Minneapolis. She believes police need reform but she can be open-minded during the trial. She further states, however, that she believes Black people do not receive equal treatment in the justice system.

She adds she has an uncle who is a police officer outside of the metro area.

The defense used a peremptory challenge strike against Juror No. 42, and she has been dismissed. This is the defense's eighth eremptory challenge strike used so far. They have seven remaining. State prosecutors have five remaining.

The Court took a short recess as it waited for the next juror to arrive.  After a 40-minute break, a new group of potential jurors were given direction from Judge Cahill.  Juror No. 44 was to be questioned next.

Juror No. 44 is a single mother with two teenage boys. She works in a nonprofit healthcare advocacy position. She said her initial concern for safety was due to the possibility of her information being leaked in this case, but reaffirms she is willing to go through with being a possible juror.  A portion of her interview was conducted off microphone.

Before court recessed for lunch, attorneys agreed to send four potential jurors home for the day, due to time delays on Friday. They will return on Monday morning. 

After lunch, the State began their questioning of Juror No. 44.  A courtroom pool reporter describes the woman to be white and in her 40s. She was selected to serve on the jury. She becomes the seventh person to be added.

The next juror, Juror No. 46 was excused from Judge Cahill due to it being a financial hardship for her to serve on the jury. She stated she was moving soon and is starting a new job as well. 

Juror No. 48 is being questioned in court. He spent eight years in the Army Reserve. He said he realized when he was summoned that this was already "a big case."  He adds he doesn't watch a lot of news but has seen clips of the incident. 

The man said he feels neutral about Chauvin and somewhat positive about Floyd. He also believes the protests had a positive and negative impact. However, he explained that he doesn't think all protesters can be associated with the destruction and looting that occurred.  

The potential juror says he doesn't believe discrimination is what the media portrays, saying it's "overblown" in the media. In regards to defunding the police, he told the defense he wasn't sure what the phrase means.  He believes that "all lives do matter," in response to a question asking him what he thought of Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter. 

The State decided to strike Juror No. 48. He was released.  Judge Cahill announced a 15 minute recess.

Court resumed around 3:15 with Juror No. 49.  Judge Cahill explaned the process, and then proceed to ask the man some questions.  Based on the juror's financial situation and strong beliefs in the case, Judge Cahill dismissed Juror No. 49. The judge said his financial situation and strong beliefs in the case warranted a release.

The court is in recess until Monday morning starting at 8 a.m.

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