The situation in Minnesota over George Floyd's death and subsequent trial of Officer Derek Chauvin might be repeated all over again.
Derek Chauvin’s defense lawyer Eric Nelson has officially filed a motion to give the ex-cop a new trial, per a local CBS affiliate site. Late last month Chauvin was declared guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter by a jury.
The grounds for this, according to the outlet: “Nelson filed the motion on the grounds of juror misconduct, and that the court abused its discretion for failing to agree to the defense’s requests for a change of venue and sequestering the jury.”
The most immediate reasoning for this filing stems from the revelation that Juror #52, Brandon Mitchell, lied to the court on his questionnaire. He initially claimed to have no knowledge of the Derek Chauvin and George Floyd case. However thanks to a circuit of interviews Mitchell did in the aftermath, it came to light that Brandon Mitchell had attended police brutality protests.
Something that Mitchell described as a "voter turnout" effort. “Either way, I was going to D.C. for this event, even if George Floyd was still alive,” he now claims.
Chauvin had no chance to win the case with a juror seen wearing a BLM “GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS” shirt. He also equated the impartiality of jury duty as if it was like voting.
“I mean it’s important if we wanna see some change, we wanna see some things going different, we gotta into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change. Jury duty is one of those things. Jury duty. Voting. All of those things we gotta do.”
The findings were an escalation in severity over the earlier remarks by an alternate juror who worried about people coming to her house if they weren’t happy with the verdict.
On top of the individual juror situations, there’s other moments from the trial itself that raised concerns. Even Judge Peter Cahill had admitted to Eric Nelson that inflammatory comments made by Maxine Waters about threatening more riots could’ve biased the jury.
Even at the beginning of the proceedings process, there was an occasion that impacted jury selection. The fact that the City of Minneapolis paid George Floyd’s family $27 million in settlement cash raised the potential of biasing prospective jurors.
Derek Chauvin may have been found guilty on all three charges, but we have to wait until June 25th for the sentencing.