A judge dismissed two jurors who had been seated for the trial of a former Minneapolis policeman accused of the death of George Floyd on the grounds that they had been tainted by the city of record $ 27 million settlement with Floyd’s family.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill recalled seven jurors who were seated before the settlement was announced last week and asked each what they knew about the settlement and whether it would affect their ability to serve.
Eric Nelson, the lawyer for former accused officer Derek Chauvin, called for the recall.
Chauvin is accused of murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd, a black man who was pronounced dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee to his neck for about nine minutes.
The dismissal of only two jurors suggested that the settlement had the effect less than feared, which likely reduces the chances of Cahill granting a defense request to delay the trial.
Cahill was careful to ask jurors if they had heard the news of the colony without giving details, saying only that there had been “extensive media coverage of the developments in a civil lawsuit between the city of Minneapolis and the George Floyd’s family ”and asking if they’ve been exposed to it.
The first fired juror, a white man in his 30s, said he had heard of the settlement. “I think it will be difficult to be impartial,” he said.
“This sticker award obviously shocked me,” said the second licensed juror. The Hispanic man in his twenties said he thought he could put the news aside, but he wasn’t sure, and after a long hiatus, Cahill fired him.
Cahill selected five other jurors, including a black man in his thirties who told Cahill he heard about the settlement on the radio Friday night, but could put it aside and settle the case. solely on the basis of the evidence presented in the courtroom.
“It didn’t affect me at all because I don’t know the details,” he said.
The jury selection went ahead faster than expected, with opening statements tentatively expected on March 29 at the earliest, but the two layoffs could jeopardize that start date. Nine people had been selected for the jury before Wednesday’s layoffs; 14 are required.
Nelson called the timing of the announcement amid jury selection “deeply disturbing” and “not fair.”
Seven jurors remain, including four men and three women. Four are white, one is multiracial and two are black, and their ages range from 20 to 50 years old. Fourteen people, including two substitutes, are needed.
The judge said he would rule Friday on Nelson’s request to postpone or move the trial and another to admit evidence of Floyd’s 2019 arrest in Minneapolis, in which several pills of opioids and cocaine have been discovered.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank argued that the evidence for the 2019 arrest was damaging and an attempt to smear Floyd’s character.
Cahill had previously rejected the claim, but said he would reconsider after Nelson argued new evidence made it admissible: Drugs were found in December of the same year during a second search of the car in which Floyd was located and were found during a search in January 2020 that the four officers attempted to put Floyd down.
Corporations have given or pledged $ 8 billion to racial equity causes since the police murder of George Floyd, far more than foundations and philanthropists. The trend signals a change for businesses, but experts say it’s hard to follow the money. https://t.co/gLIExjJBwq
– The Associated Press (@AP) March 17, 2021
Floyd’s death, captured on a widely viewed spectator video, sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests across the country and led to a national judgment on racial justice.
The Black lives matter The movement continued to protest for months, highlighting the deaths of other people of color while in custody.
The movement has sparked calls for police law reform and pressure for racial equity, as the United States continues to accommodate racial disparities.