Hennepin County judge Peter Cahill on Monday denied the defense’s motion to reconsider the jury after a police fatal shot Sunday afternoon and immediately seized them in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Court TV / AP hide caption
Court TV / AP
Court TV / AP
Following a fatal police shootout near Minneapolis on Sunday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney expressed concern that events might affect the jury in his murder trial. Judge Peter Cahill denied the request that the jury be questioned again and that they be confiscated immediately.
Cahill said the jury would be fully seized starting next Monday, when the final arguments are expected to begin.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked to question the jury about what they heard about the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at Brooklyn Center, a nearby town in Hennepin County. Restlessness followed the shooting: Police used tear gas and lightning grenades to evacuate protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
One of the jurors lives in Brooklyn Center and others have ties to the city, Nelson said. He said the jury should have been seized due to the high profile of the case and its tendency to evoke strong emotions. Nelson asked that the jury be warned at the beginning of each day to avoid all media.
Nelson expressed concern that the jury might get nervous about passing a judgment that the public disagreed with.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher countered that he did not believe the jury seizure was effective. Avoiding media used to mean not reading newspapers or watching TV, but now media is ubiquitous.
Judge Cahill ruled against the motion to question the jury about what they heard about the Sunday shooting on the grounds that it was a completely different case. He feared that such questioning could lead the jury to believe that there were new threats to their security. It would be different, said Cahill, if the unrest had followed a verdict.