MINNEAPOLIS – The judge leading the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin may consider whether the trial will be delayed due to an announcement from city guides last week Pay George Floyd’s family $ 27 million in a settlement in an unlawful death lawsuit.
Hennepin District Judge Peter Cahill said he was would consider delaying the process Because of concerns, the news may affect the partiality of the jury pool.
He also ordered that the seven jurors who had been selected last week be brought back and asked about their familiarity with the news announced during a pause in the selection of the jury on Friday afternoon.
The jury selection is expected to continue on Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. (CT). Nine of the twelve jurors have taken their seats so far; Two alternatives are also chosen.
Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder – which was added last week – and manslaughter.
Floyd, a black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020 when the white chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. While lying on the floor under Chauvin, Floyd yelled “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. The incident sparked protests around the world.
- In addition to potentially delaying the trial, Chauvin’s defense team asked Judge Cahill to relocate and immediately confiscated the jury – two points he may also consider Tuesday.
- Nine jurors were selected to take part in Chauvin’s trial. Five of the jury identified themselves as white, one as multiracial, one as Spanish and two as black, according to the court. Seven of the jurors are in their twenties or thirties and two in their fifties.
- About 30 to 40 protesters blocked traffic near the Minneapolis courthouse on Monday, demanding a fair trial, arguing that the jury must reflect the city’s demographics.
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The historic $ 27 million settlement in a civil lawsuit over Floyd’s death complicates Derek Chauvin’s high-level prosecution and could be the subject of a conviction. Legal observers say.
Floyd’s family filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, Chauvin, and three other officials in July on charges of his death. It was alleged that the officers, who have since been sacked, violated Floyd’s rights in withholding him and that the city allowed a culture of excessive violence, racism and impunity to thrive on its police force.
The settlement announcement, held during criminal lunchtime last week, “was incredibly bad timing and extremely detrimental to the defense and possibly the state,” said Mary Moriarty, former chief defense attorney for Hennepin County, Minnesota.
On the potential ramifications, a potential juror might assume Chauvin doesn’t need to be convicted because the Floyd family has already reached a major settlement, she said. Read more here.
– Tami Abdollah
On Monday, the defense in the Derek Chauvin trial called for a continuation, the recall of seven jurors and additional strikes during the voir dire over the $ 27 million civil settlement. Chauvin’s senior attorney, Eric Nelson, also called for a relocation of the trial and confiscation of the jury.
Judge Peter Cahill said he would consider delaying the trial, but denied that Chauvin’s attorneys would receive additional strikes to knock out potential jurors. He also ruled that the seven jurors who sat before Monday should be recalled to ask about their notoriety. Cahill was able to weigh the additional requests from Chauvin’s attorneys as early as Tuesday morning.
Cahill said Monday he was “troubled” by the timing of the city’s announcement, but doesn’t believe the state has “bad intentions” to coordinate with city leaders, including Mayor Jacob Frey, to announce the settlement now and to infect the impartiality of the jury.
Calling the timing “deeply worrying”, Nelson said, “The goal of this system is to provide a fair trial. And that’s not fair.”
Nine jurors – six men and three women – have so far been selected to serve during the Derek Chauvin trial. The court must have a total of 12 jurors and two deputies.
Given the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death – a black man who dies under the knee of a white cop – the racist makeup of the jury is a key concern. Five of the jury identified themselves as white, one as multiracial, one as Spanish and two as black, according to the court.
Among the selected jurors: a man who immigrated to the United States from Africa, a chemist, a man who works in banking and teaches youth sports, a mother of two who was concerned about her safety while handling the case, a man who said something Disagrees that the criminal justice system is biased against minorities, a woman who said she was “super excited” to serve, a man who said he had a pretty negative opinion about Blue Lives Matter, a single mother of two and a groom who will likely have to cancel his wedding to serve on the jury.