The fifteenth and final juror was selected on Tuesday in the murder trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Proceedings are now on recess until Monday’s opening statements.
District Judge Peter Cahill brought in twelve jury candidates for questioning on Tuesday and clarified that the fifteenth and last seated juror will be excused next Monday. He said he wants to have fifteen in case one should drop out before the trial starts for reasons such as illness, a family emergency, or further exposure to information on Floyd’s death that would taint their decision. Fourteen jurors, two of them alternates, will hear the case.
The newest juror selected late Tuesday morning is a married white male accountant in his 20s, who said he thinks analytically due to his occupation and could assess evidence fairly. He said he had first developed a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin, thinking the length of his restraint on Floyd was longer than necessary. Still, he confirmed he would be able to put that aside and weigh the case based on the evidence. He also pointed out that when Floyd’s death sparked discussions about racism at work, he decided to build his knowledge by reading up on the topic. He conveyed respect for police and views Black Lives Matter somewhat favorably. Though, he also expressed concern that frustrations had gone too far and may have been a factor in Minneapolis’ recent violent unrest.
Kennepin County Court Room
Juror fifteen also said that professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem are trying to start a dialogue on race, but “I would prefer if someone would express their beliefs in a different manner. I think it’s more of a respect of those that have come before us and the system that we have in the United States.