MINNEAPOLIS — Jury selection for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged for the death of George Floyd, continued Friday, March 12.
There are currently seven members of the jury selected, five men and two women. Three of the jurors appear to be people of color. Jury selection is expected to continue until the end of March.
The seventh member, identified as Juror No. 44, appears to be a white woman in her 50s, according to a pool reporter in the courtroom Friday. Juror No. 44 works at a nonprofit doing health care advocacy work, and is a single mother of two teenage boys. She said she has empathy toward both Floyd and the officers involved in his arrest. “Everyone’s lives were changed by this incident and what happened, it’s not easy for anyone,” she said.
The first potential juror that was brought in to be questioned Friday, identified as Juror No. 42, was removed by the defense by using their eighth peremptory strike. The defense has seven strikes left. Juror No. 42, a woman who said she is a recent college graduate, said when she watched the bystander video of Floyd’s arrest, she had to stop because she “just couldn’t watch it anymore.” She said she believes in police reform and had a negative opinion about Chauvin, but could put her opinions aside. A pool reporter in the courtroom Friday said the juror appeared to be white and in her 20s.
The second potential juror dismissed Friday, identified as Juror No. 46, was excused by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill because she is moving and starting a new job when the trial is scheduled to take place. She said it would be a financial hardship for her to not have income during that time.
The third potential juror removed Friday, identified as Juror No. 48, a man, was dismissed after prosecutors used their fifth peremptory strike. Juror No. 48 is married, has young children and served in the military for eight years. He somewhat disagreed that the actions of police officers should be second-guessed, and said he could see that the bystanders who witnessed Floyd’s arrest could have added to the stress levels of the officers as they were being watched and recorded.
The fourth and last juror dismissed Friday, identified as Juror No. 49, a man, was quickly excused by Cahill. Juror No. 49 said he already had strong opinions formed about the case that he couldn’t put aside, and said he was concerned about the financial implications of taking four weeks off from work for trial.
Jury selection will resume Monday morning, March 15.
Also, on Friday, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the Floyd family.
Floyd’s name and image have become symbols of the relationships between police and communities of color and Chauvin’s trial has drawn international attention. The Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial is taking place, and much of downtown Minneapolis is fortified for the trial with heavy police and National Guard presence.
On Thursday, March 11, Cahill reinstated a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, which was added to his existing charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the May 25, 2020, arrest death of Floyd.