State vs. Chauvin: Final juror seated on day twelve

The defense in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin The defense in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin |  Photo: WDIO

WDIO/KSTP/The Associated Press
Updated: March 23, 2021 11:48 AM
Created: March 23, 2021 09:59 AM

Twelve days into the trial of Derek Chauvin, jury selection is complete with a 15th juror seated on Tuesday.

Only twelve of the jurors will eventually deliberate the charges against Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, but Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill wanted several alternates available.

Attorneys and the judge worked through more than 100 people, dismissing most because they acknowledged strong views about an incident that was captured on bystander video and shook the nation.

Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man who was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. Street protests in Minneapolis, some violent, spread across the U.S. and the world.


Judge Peter Cahill welcomed the group of potential jurors Tuesday morning, providing direction on the process. Juror No. 127 will be the first to be questioned. 

The man says the news "bothers" him, and he doesn't watch any of it aside from the weather. He also noted he doesn't have social media, when asked if he has seen any coverage on the case. He adds that he doesn't trust "the media."

I want to know what happened, why did it happen, and the truth," he said in court. 

He notes he is a former truck driver and went back to school to change careers. He now works as a pipefitter. 

He shared his safety concerns after that rioting that happened on Lake Street. "I don't know what either side is capable of anymore. I don't want to be part of either," he adds.

He tells the defense he has seen the video of Floyd in police custody "2 to 3 times." He saw it on the news, in clips.  

He believes defunding the police is "lunacy," and noted how Martin Luther King Jr.'s days were "protests and not riots," in comparison to the protests and riots that happened in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area. 

The juror in question has a "somewhat negative" view of Floyd. 

"Why is someone resisting... if you don't have a problem, you have nothing to worry about," he said.

The man says "everybody's lives matters," noting those who disagree "can go to Chicago." He has an unfavorable opinion on Black Lives Matter.

When the state prosecutor asked about his hatred of media, he stated that the "media will take a little grain of something and turn it into something else." He noted the biased media ranged from Fox News to CNN.

He believes in the police being "fair." He would tend to believe a police officer over an average bystander. He also believes it isn't fair police officer's decisions get reviewed.

Juror No. 127 has been dismissed by Judge Cahill. The judge explained that the state made a challenge for cause, on the grounds that the juror showed bias, that would prevent him from being impartial. The defense disagreed, but the court dismissed Juror 127 for cause.

According to KSTP reporter Kirsten Swanson, Judge Cahill addressed a request regarding a juror Monday, whom defense argued was evasive and gave biased answers. Judge Cahill gave the preemptory strike back to the defense. According to KSTP, the case provided by the defense was the State v. McKinley case. The defense now has four remaining peremptory challenge strikes remaining, and the state has two.

Juror No. 129 is being questioned next by Judge Cahill and the defense. Juror No. 129, a woman who noted she is a mother of three kids. She told the court she "fears for the safety" of her family. She says she "wasn't very happy" to hear about the settlement with the city and Floyd's family. She said she is able to put her personal opinions to the side regarding that news and be impartial for the trial. The potential juror said she was "very nervous' to participate.

Juror No. 129 has been excused from the jury by Judge Cahill.  The court took a short morning recess. Juror No. 130 will be questioned next.

Juror No. 130 has been excused for cause by the judge. They stated in court they would "try" to be impartial but said it would be a challenge. 

Juror No. 131 is an accountant who is married with a puppy at home. He describes himself as a competitive person who likes to follow sports. He also noted he will be moving out of the state at the end of May.

He said he was "shocked" to find out he was summoned for jury duty relating to this trial. He believes the duration Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck was "unnecessary." He also believes it shouldn't have taken four officers to respond to the original call. 

Juror No. 131 was chosen for the jury at midday Tuesday. The court recessed until Monday, when opening arguments are expected.

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