Minneapolis braces for day one of Derek Chauvin’s trial as city holds vigil for George Floyd

The brother of the late George Floyd collapsed during a vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday for the 46-year-old black man who died moments after he was filmed lying on the pavement as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes last spring. 

Terrence Floyd was comforted by civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis on Sunday.

‘We’re asking the system for the justice but this gathering we’re doing right now is what’s needed,’ Terrence Floyd said. ‘We’re gonna ask God for the justice. We need justice, we need it now!’ 

During that same vigil, Terrence’s brother, Philonise, said he will take a knee in front of Hennepin County Government Center, the site of Chauvin’s trial, on Monday morning for the 8mins and 46 seconds that Chauvin pressed his into George Floyd’s neck.

In a Monday morning appearance on Good Morning Britain (GMB), LaTonya Floyd, George’s sister, spoke over host Susanna Reid who said ‘Black Lives Matter’ to tell viewers ‘All Lives Matter’ as she broke down sobbing in the emotional interview.  

She said the family felt cared for by Minneapolis residents whose protests started the international Black Lives Matter movement after George’s death, but that she could not promote violence.  

‘I mean night and day I watched on TV Minneapolis walk with signs, screaming, protesting, now the other violence and, you know, trashing stores, I can’t promote that. I understand they’re angry, you know, but that’s not what my family’s about. You know, we’re not into violence and all that. There was a better way to handle it’, she said.

‘This is the way I’m handling it, with prayer and tears. Each to his own, but I just don’t feel like that was necessary. But, you know, it happened, and yes they do [care]. The city, as the people, I can’t speak for higher. I can’t speak for precincts, none of that, but the people of Minneapolis, yes, I think they care, absolutely.’ 

LaTonya sat in front of two pictures of her late brother during the interview. 

In an emotional interview with Good Morning Britain on Monday, LaTonya Floyd, George's sister,  spoke over host Susanna Reid to tell views 'All Lives Matter' as she broke down sobbing

In an emotional interview with Good Morning Britain on Monday, LaTonya Floyd, George's sister,  spoke over host Susanna Reid to tell views 'All Lives Matter' as she broke down sobbing

In an emotional interview with Good Morning Britain on Monday, LaTonya Floyd, George’s sister,  spoke over host Susanna Reid to tell views ‘All Lives Matter’ as she broke down sobbing

LaTonya said the family felt cared for by Minneapolis residents whose protests started the international Black Lives Matter movement after George's death, but that she could not the promote violence seen during last year's demonstrations

LaTonya said the family felt cared for by Minneapolis residents whose protests started the international Black Lives Matter movement after George's death, but that she could not the promote violence seen during last year's demonstrations

LaTonya said the family felt cared for by Minneapolis residents whose protests started the international Black Lives Matter movement after George’s death, but that she could not the promote violence seen during last year’s demonstrations

LaTonya sat in front of two pictures of her late brother during the interview. At times hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard were forced to step in an comfort their interviewee, who broke down sobbing live on air

LaTonya sat in front of two pictures of her late brother during the interview. At times hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard were forced to step in an comfort their interviewee, who broke down sobbing live on air

LaTonya sat in front of two pictures of her late brother during the interview. At times hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard were forced to step in an comfort their interviewee, who broke down sobbing live on air

George Floyd’s son Quincy Mason Floyd also appeared on the show ahead of Derek Chauvin’s trial.

Quincy said he thinks there will be renewed rioting as a result of the trial. 

‘I feel like we’re going to start rioting again, there’s going to be violence, people breaking in and stuff and tainting the neighbourhoods. I don’t feel like they should do that but I stand in pain, they understand my pain.’

Reliving his father’s final moment, Quincy, who last saw his father when he was five years old, said, ‘It was not even real, it was like a snap of the finger. I just got down on both knees and collapsed.. my wife comes in and goes, ‘What’s going on? What’s wrong with you?’

He added, ‘I kind of got the shaking a lot, I couldn’t speak, I was just numb. She looked at the tv and went, ‘Oh my God’ and she just turned the tv off. She said, ‘Babe, I’m so sorry’ and hugged me and then I just couldn’t speak.’

Talking about Chauvin being accused of second and third degree murder, Quincy said: ‘I don’t know why they’re giving this man third degree, it should be first degree. Third degree is just a slap on the wrist. I don’t think justice is being served, it needs to be first degree. He took my father’s life from him, he didn’t deserve that at all.’  

Terrence Floyd (center) collapses over the podium as he speaks during a vigil for his brother, George Floyd, at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis on Sunday. The Reverend Al Sharpton is seen left comforting Terrence Floyd. Floyd family attorney Ben Crump is seen right. Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, is seen standing behind Terrence Floyd

'We¿re asking the system for the justice but this gathering we¿re doing right now is what¿s needed,' Terrence Floyd said. 'We¿re gonna ask God for the justice. We need justice, we need it now!'

'We¿re asking the system for the justice but this gathering we¿re doing right now is what¿s needed,' Terrence Floyd said. 'We¿re gonna ask God for the justice. We need justice, we need it now!'

‘We’re asking the system for the justice but this gathering we’re doing right now is what’s needed,’ Terrence Floyd said. ‘We’re gonna ask God for the justice. We need justice, we need it now!’

Terrence Floyd is embraced by Crump and his brother, Philonise Floyd, as Sharpton looks on during the vigil on Sunday

Terrence Floyd is embraced by Crump and his brother, Philonise Floyd, as Sharpton looks on during the vigil on Sunday

Terrence Floyd is embraced by Crump and his brother, Philonise Floyd, as Sharpton looks on during the vigil on Sunday

Speaking at a brief press conference ahead of the vigil Rev Sharpton declared that it is not only the former Minneapolis cop who will stand trial, but ¿the United States¿ ability to deal with police accountability.¿

Speaking at a brief press conference ahead of the vigil Rev Sharpton declared that it is not only the former Minneapolis cop who will stand trial, but ¿the United States¿ ability to deal with police accountability.¿

Speaking at a brief press conference ahead of the vigil Rev Sharpton declared that it is not only the former Minneapolis cop who will stand trial, but ‘the United States’ ability to deal with police accountability.’

Mourners sit socially distanced on the pews during the prayer vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday

Mourners sit socially distanced on the pews during the prayer vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday

Mourners sit socially distanced on the pews during the prayer vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday

Crump and Terrence Floyd embrace at the prayer vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday just hours before the start of opening arguments

Crump and Terrence Floyd embrace at the prayer vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday just hours before the start of opening arguments

Crump and Terrence Floyd embrace at the prayer vigil in Minneapolis on Sunday just hours before the start of opening arguments

In an emotional address Sharpton asked, ¿Is America prepared to hold police accountable and make them pay when they are wrong?¿

In an emotional address Sharpton asked, ¿Is America prepared to hold police accountable and make them pay when they are wrong?¿

In an emotional address Sharpton asked, ‘Is America prepared to hold police accountable and make them pay when they are wrong?’

Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin (seen right alongside his attorney, Eric Nelson, in court in Minneapolis on Tuesday) wrapped up ahead of schedule

Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin (seen right alongside his attorney, Eric Nelson, in court in Minneapolis on Tuesday) wrapped up ahead of schedule

Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin (seen right alongside his attorney, Eric Nelson, in court in Minneapolis on Tuesday) wrapped up ahead of schedule

George Floyd, who was black, was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes while George Floyd was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn´t breathe

George Floyd, who was black, was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes while George Floyd was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn´t breathe

George Floyd is seen above in this undated file photo

George Floyd is seen above in this undated file photo

George Floyd, who was black, was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin (left), who is white, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes while George Floyd was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn´t breathe. Floyd is seen right in the undated file photo

Philonise announced his intention to kneel for the 8mins and 46 seconds that Chauvin pressed his into George Floyd’s neck at a prayer vigil and rally led by Sharpton on the eve of Chauvin’s trial. The Reverend will be one of the supporters to join him in his silent act of protest.

Speaking at a brief press conference ahead of the vigil Rev Sharpton declared that it is not only the former Minneapolis cop who will stand trial, but ‘the United States’ ability to deal with police accountability.’

In an emotional address he asked, ‘Is America prepared to hold police accountable and make them pay when they are wrong?’

Rev Sharpton was joined by Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump at the event organized by the National Action Network Sunday evening and held at Minneapolis’s Greater Friendship Missionary Church.

He predicted a ‘painful and tumultuous’ few weeks for the dead man’s family who, he said, ‘now have to stand in front of the world and see over and over again,’ what he predicted would be defense efforts to, ‘discredit and smear’ Floyd, 46.  

LaTonya said the family were feeling both scared and happy about the imminent trial. 

She said: ‘The scary thing is that we really don’t know what is going to happen, well not with us. A lot of families and people have been through the same thing that we’re going through right now but believe me it was not as horrific as this.

‘It’s scary. I’m happy because justice will prevail. It’s just intense.’ 

LaTonya said the family were feeling both scared and happy about the imminent trial, but that they were confident justice would prevail

LaTonya said the family were feeling both scared and happy about the imminent trial, but that they were confident justice would prevail

LaTonya said the family were feeling both scared and happy about the imminent trial, but that they were confident justice would prevail

LaTonya said she hoped the trial of Derek Chauvin, due to start on Monday morning, would also help to bring justice for several other families who have lost loved ones under similar circumstances

LaTonya said she hoped the trial of Derek Chauvin, due to start on Monday morning, would also help to bring justice for several other families who have lost loved ones under similar circumstances

LaTonya said she hoped the trial of Derek Chauvin, due to start on Monday morning, would also help to bring justice for several other families who have lost loved ones under similar circumstances 

Protesters and activists march the day before opening statements in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters and activists march the day before opening statements in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters and activists march the day before opening statements in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on Sunday

A protester raises his fist while marching in a procession outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

A protester raises his fist while marching in a procession outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

A protester raises his fist while marching in a procession outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

Paul, a volunteer, cleans 'George Floyd Square,' the place where George Floyd died in police custody in May 2020

Paul, a volunteer, cleans 'George Floyd Square,' the place where George Floyd died in police custody in May 2020

Paul, a volunteer, cleans ‘George Floyd Square,’ the place where George Floyd died in police custody in May 2020

Demonstrators on Sunday hold up signs outside the courthouse in Minneapolis where opening statements are scheduled to begin on Monday

Demonstrators on Sunday hold up signs outside the courthouse in Minneapolis where opening statements are scheduled to begin on Monday

Demonstrators on Sunday hold up signs outside the courthouse in Minneapolis where opening statements are scheduled to begin on Monday

Protesters hold up a portrait of George Floyd during demonstrations in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters hold up a portrait of George Floyd during demonstrations in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters hold up a portrait of George Floyd during demonstrations in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters are seen above outside the courthouse in Minneapolis on Sunday where the former officer charged in George Floyd's death will stand trial

Protesters are seen above outside the courthouse in Minneapolis on Sunday where the former officer charged in George Floyd's death will stand trial

Protesters are seen above outside the courthouse in Minneapolis on Sunday where the former officer charged in George Floyd’s death will stand trial

Demonstrators wave a portrait of Floyd during protests in Minneapolis on Sunday

Demonstrators wave a portrait of Floyd during protests in Minneapolis on Sunday

Demonstrators wave a portrait of Floyd during protests in Minneapolis on Sunday

Plywood covers a building front near the Hennepin County Government Center in preparation for the trial on Sunday

Plywood covers a building front near the Hennepin County Government Center in preparation for the trial on Sunday

Plywood covers a building front near the Hennepin County Government Center in preparation for the trial on Sunday

Security is heightened in the city in an effort to prevent a repeat of rioting that broke out in Minneapolis and major cities around the world following Floyd's death on May 25, 2020

Security is heightened in the city in an effort to prevent a repeat of rioting that broke out in Minneapolis and major cities around the world following Floyd's death on May 25, 2020

Security is heightened in the city in an effort to prevent a repeat of rioting that broke out in Minneapolis and major cities around the world following Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020

Police and National Guard troops stand watch outside of the Hennepin County Government Center during the demonstrations on Sunday

Police and National Guard troops stand watch outside of the Hennepin County Government Center during the demonstrations on Sunday

Police and National Guard troops stand watch outside of the Hennepin County Government Center during the demonstrations on Sunday

The image above shows a makeshift memorial for Floyd at the spot of his fatal arrest last May

The image above shows a makeshift memorial for Floyd at the spot of his fatal arrest last May

The image above shows a makeshift memorial for Floyd at the spot of his fatal arrest last May

The area has been renamed 'George Floyd Square' by locals. The opening statements of Chauvin's trial get underway on Monday

The area has been renamed 'George Floyd Square' by locals. The opening statements of Chauvin's trial get underway on Monday

The area has been renamed ‘George Floyd Square’ by locals. The opening statements of Chauvin’s trial get underway on Monday

It was a sentiment echoed by Crump who said he fully expected Chauvin’s defense to ‘roll out the playbook’ when proceedings start Monday morning.

He said, ‘They’re going to attack his character so much they’re going to try to hope you forget what you saw in that video.’

Crump, who recently secured a $27million civil settlement for the family from the City, thanked those who, he said, ‘Have said until we get justice for George Floyd we cannot breathe,’ and added, ‘Perhaps at the end of this trial we can all exhale together.’

For his part Floyd’s brother Philinose said that he thought of his brother, ‘every day and every night.’

He said, ‘I have a big hole in my heart. It can’t be patched up with money. We need a conviction.’

He added, ‘I have faith that he will get convicted.’

LaTonya said the last year had been ‘hell’ for the family. 

‘We don’t get to see him, we don’t get to hold him, we don’t get to talk to him. It’s so painful. Someone was taken away from us that I watched come from the hospital, that I fed a bottle to, changed diapers, held him at night, a little baby boy, my brother. He’s no longer here.

‘He was murdered, that’s just bottom line and it hurts so bad. Our family has been going through it and on this day here, I hope this is the beginning of justice for my family and hopefully everyone who’s been through it.’ 

George Floyd, who was black, was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes while George Floyd was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn´t breathe.

A protester on Sunday wears a Black Lives Matter face covering during a demonstration

A protester on Sunday wears a Black Lives Matter face covering during a demonstration

A protester on Sunday wears a Black Lives Matter face covering during a demonstration

Demonstrators hold up signs that read 'All eyes on Justice - Justice for George Floyd' and 'Justice for Ahmaud Arbery' in Minneapolis on Sunday

Demonstrators hold up signs that read 'All eyes on Justice - Justice for George Floyd' and 'Justice for Ahmaud Arbery' in Minneapolis on Sunday

Demonstrators hold up signs that read ‘All eyes on Justice – Justice for George Floyd’ and ‘Justice for Ahmaud Arbery’ in Minneapolis on Sunday

A Black Lives Matter supporter holds up a portrait of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was fatally shot by two white men in Georgia last year

A Black Lives Matter supporter holds up a portrait of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was fatally shot by two white men in Georgia last year

A Black Lives Matter supporter holds up a portrait of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was fatally shot by two white men in Georgia last year

Protesters hold up signs and portraits of Martin Luther King Jr, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters hold up signs and portraits of Martin Luther King Jr, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters hold up signs and portraits of Martin Luther King Jr, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in Minneapolis on Sunday

A demonstrator is seen above holding up a portrait of George Floyd during a protest outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

A demonstrator is seen above holding up a portrait of George Floyd during a protest outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

A demonstrator is seen above holding up a portrait of George Floyd during a protest outside Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday 

Protesters hold up signs that read 'Black Lives Matter' and 'All eyez on Justice' in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters hold up signs that read 'Black Lives Matter' and 'All eyez on Justice' in Minneapolis on Sunday

Protesters hold up signs that read ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘All eyez on Justice’ in Minneapolis on Sunday

Curtis Venzant Jr, 4, waves a flag during a rally outside of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

Curtis Venzant Jr, 4, waves a flag during a rally outside of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

Curtis Venzant Jr, 4, waves a flag during a rally outside of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Sunday

Black Lives Matter supporters hold up signs during a demonstration outside Hennepin County Government Center on Sunday

Black Lives Matter supporters hold up signs during a demonstration outside Hennepin County Government Center on Sunday

Black Lives Matter supporters hold up signs during a demonstration outside Hennepin County Government Center on Sunday

The Chauvin trial will be closely watched. Three other officers involved in Floyd's fatal arrest will be tried later this year

The Chauvin trial will be closely watched. Three other officers involved in Floyd's fatal arrest will be tried later this year

The Chauvin trial will be closely watched. Three other officers involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest will be tried later this year

‘My brother complied,’ Philonise Floyd said during the service. 

‘He said ‘I can’t breathe.’ He said ‘Mama.’ He said ‘Tell my kids I love them’… Nobody should have to go through that, nobody should have to endure that.’

Chauvin is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. 

Asked how police forces should change, LaTonya told GMB: ‘I would like to see a change in the police forces, not all of the same, but in every state, country, city, there is a Chauvin in every one of those. 

‘We can’t have a perfect world so I just want a part of perfect, just some peace. The police brutality, assaulting, and choking, and beating, that’s not necessary. 

‘I want to see all that change, and you know what it would be absolutely wonderful if racism would just go away, but we know that’s not going to happen, definitely not, not all the way. But, my brother died and he sparked a major movement and it’s still happening but it’s not going to [get rid of racism] completely. I just want to see world peace. Wow.’ 

Proceedings are scheduled to begin Monday morning, and the trial is expected to last about four weeks.

Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, added that the prayer service also served as a show of support for the Floyd family.

‘I wanted them to see all these people come,’ Sharpton said during the event. 

‘I wanted them to know we´re with them… we will be there with them until the end.’ 

Last week, the jury that will hear the case and decide Chauvin’s fate was seated, wrapping up a selection process ahead of schedule after it was threatened to be derailed by a $27million civil settlement between the city and Floyd’s family.

The final juror, a white man in his 20s who works an accountant, was chosen on Tuesday.

STATE OF MINNESOTA V  DEREK CHAUVIN – THE CHARGES

Second-degree murder 

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, which in Minnesota can be ‘intentional’ or ‘unintentional.’

The second-degree murder charge requires prosecutors to prove Chauvin caused Floyd’s death while committing or trying to commit a felony — in this case, third-degree assault. 

Prosecutors must convince the jury that Chauvin assaulted or attempted to assault Floyd and in doing so inflicted substantial bodily harm. 

Prosecutors don’t have to prove that Chauvin was the sole cause of Floyd’s death – only that his conduct was a ‘substantial causal factor.’ 

If the prosecution can prove Chauvin committed third-degree assault on Floyd, he can be convicted of Floyd’s death. 

Prosecutors are fearful that Chauvin will escape conviction for second-degree murder, that carries a maximum 40 year sentence. 

But because Chauvin does not have any prior convictions, sentencing guidelines recommend he serve no more than 25.5 years behind bars. 

Second-degree manslaughter 

The manslaughter charge has a lower bar, requiring proof that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk, and consciously took the chance of causing severe injury or death. 

In other words, Chauvin should have been aware that through his actions he was placing Floyd at risk of dying even though it may not have been his intent to kill him, according to prosecutors.

If convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

But sentencing guidelines for someone without a criminal record call for no more than four years behind bars.

Third-degree murder 

Third-degree murder would require a lower standard of proof than second-degree. 

To win a conviction, prosecutors would have to show only that Floyd’s death was caused by an act that was obviusly dangerous, though not necessarily a felony.

That would result in a maximum sentence of 25 years.

But there are caveats.

Chauvin has no criminal history, which means he will probably end up serving about 12.5 years whether he is convicted of second or third-degree murder. 

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Attorneys and the judge worked through more than 100 people, dismissing most because they acknowledged strong views about an encounter that was captured on bystander video. 

The panel now includes 15 jurors. Twelve will deliberate, with two alternates; Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill has said he will excuse the extra juror when opening statements begin on Monday if the 14 others still are able to serve. 

The final juror chosen is a married accountant who said he initially formed a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin, saying it seemed like the length of his restraint on Floyd was longer than necessary. 

But he said he would be able to put that aside and weigh the case based on the evidence.

He said Floyd’s death sparked discussions about racism at work, and he decided to educate himself by reading a book about the subject. 

He said he has a healthy respect for police and views Black Lives Matter somewhat favorably. 

However, he said some of the frustrations boiled over and may have been a factor in violent unrest in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill is seen above in court in Minneapolis on Tuesday

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill is seen above in court in Minneapolis on Tuesday

Steve Schleicher, the lead prosecutor in the case, is seen above in Minneapolis on Monday

Steve Schleicher, the lead prosecutor in the case, is seen above in Minneapolis on Monday

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill (seen left in court in Minneapolis on Monday)  and Steve Schleicher, the lead prosecutor in the case, is seen right in Minneapolis on Monday

He also said he understands 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.’ 

Chauvin’s trial is being conducted amid the pandemic, with heightened risk for jurors to fall ill despite social distancing, mask-wearing and plastic shields in the courtroom. 

Selecting a jury was complicated by the worldwide attention to Floyd’s death, even before the city of Minneapolis announced a $27million settlement to his family early in the process.

In the middle of jury selection, Cahill declined a defense request to delay or move Chauvin’s trial over concerns that the $27million settlement for Floyd’s family had tainted the jury pool.

He also ruled that the jury can hear evidence from Floyd’s 2019 arrest, but only information possibly pertaining to the cause of death.     

BREAKDOWN OF SEATED JURORS IN THE DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL

Derek Chauvin (pictured in a Minneapolis courtroom on March 15) has been charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin (pictured in a Minneapolis courtroom on March 15) has been charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin (pictured in a Minneapolis courtroom on March 15) has been charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd

As of Monday, all 15 jurors who will hear the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin have been impaneled.

Twelve jurors will deliberate and three will serve as alternates. 

Alternate jurors will step in if a juror can’t continue in the trial for reasons such as illness, a family emergency, or further exposure to information on Floyd’s death that would taint their decision. 

In the middle of jury selection, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill dismissed two jurors – a white man and a Hispanic man – after they admitted their views were altered by the announced $27million settlement between the family of George Floyd and the City of Minneapolis. 

The seated jurors include six men and nine women. 

The 15 jurors seated through Monday are split by race, with nine white jurors, four black and two multiracial, according to the court. 

Juror No. 1: A white man in his 20s or 30s who works as a chemist. He told the court that he has an ‘analytical’ mind.

He claims not to have seen the infamous nine-minute clip during which George Floyd died under the ex-Minneapolis police officer’s knee. 

The juror described himself as a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, though he criticized it as ‘too extreme’ and said: ‘All lives should matter.’ 

Juror No. 2:  A woman of color in her 20s or 30s who is also related to a police officer.

The young woman from northern Minnesota described herself as ‘super excited’ to be called to be part of the jury pool in such a high profile case.

She said that she had seen the video of Floyd’s death only once and revealed that she has an uncle who is a police officer in the state, but was clear that it would not affect her ability to be fair and impartial in this case.

Juror No. 3: A white man in his 30s who works as an auditor and is friends with a Minneapolis police officer in the K9 unit.

The juror described himself as honest and straightforward.

He said that while he has seen Facebook video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck at least twice, he has not formed an opinion about the former officer’s guilt. 

The juror did acknowledge having a ‘somewhat negative’ view of Chauvin in light of the clip.

On his juror questionnaire, he wrote that Floyd had done ‘hard drugs’ and had a ‘checkered past’ – though he said he could set aside his opinions and be impartial. 

Juror No. 4: The fifth juror seated is a married IT manager in his thirties who emigrated from West Africa to the United States 14 years ago.

Like other jurors, he said that he supported the ideals of the Black Lives Matters movement but went further than his peers saying, ‘All lives matter, but black lives matter more because they are marginalized.’

He also voiced support for Blue Lives Matter and when questioned by the prosecution said he was strongly opposed to defunding the police, stating that the presence of police made him feel safer.

‘I believe our cops need to be safe and feel safe in order to protect our community,’ he said.

He told the court that he believed in the country’s justice system and wanted to serve on the jury because it was his civic duty.

‘I also believe that to make the justice system work I think we need people that are part of the community to sit as a juror,’ he said.

He said that he was not on social media but had seen the video of Floyd’s death and formed a slightly negative view of Chauvin.

All prospective jurors are asked about their views on the video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck during his fatal arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020

All prospective jurors are asked about their views on the video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck during his fatal arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020

All prospective jurors are asked about their views on the video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck during his fatal arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020

He added that he was conscious that he did not know what had happened before or after the short clips he had seen.

Chauvin’s attorney pressed the potential juror on one answer that he had written in response to the jurors’ questionnaire. He stated that, while discussing Floyd’s death with his wife, he had said, ‘It could have been me.’

Asked what he meant by that the juror explained that he used to live in the area where Floyd died and said, ‘It could have been me or anyone else. It could have been anybody. It could have been you, that’s what I mean.’ 

Juror No. 5: The single mother-of two, white and in her early 50s, described herself as being in the ‘C-class’ of executives and works in healthcare advocacy.

She admitted to knowing Attorney General Keith Ellison and having had work dealings with his office, but neither defense nor prosecutors viewed this as any impairment to her service.

In response to a jury pool questionnaire, she said she had a ‘somewhat negative’ view of Chauvin, and that she thought he held his knee to Floyd’s neck for too long.

She said she felt empathy for both Floyd and the officers, adding that ‘at the end of the day I’m sure that the intention was not there for this to happen.’ 

Juror No. 6: A black man in his 30s, works in banking, and is youth sports coach.

He said that he was keen to be a juror at a trial which he viewed as ‘historic moment.’

Answering the prospective jurors’ lengthy questionnaire he said that he did ‘not believe the defendant set out to murder anyone,’ but that, having viewed the video of Floyd’s death he was left at a loss as to what Chauvin was thinking.

He professed himself strongly in favor of Black Lives Matters – as a statement not a movement or organization. 

But his view of Blue Lives Matters was ‘somewhat negative.’

He said, ‘I think that police lives matter but I feel like the concept of Blue Lives Matter only became a thing to combat Black Lives Matter, where it shouldn’t be a competition.’    

Juror No. 7: A white single mother in her 50s who works as executive assistant for a health clinic near Minneapolis.

She wrote in her questionnaire that she could not watch the entire video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck ‘because it was too disturbing to me.’

Nonetheless, she said: ‘I’m not in a position to change the law. I’m in a position to uphold the law.’

She added: ‘[Chauvin] is innocent until we can prove otherwise.’ 

Juror No. 8: A black father of one son expressed neutrality on almost all key points though he strongly disagreed with defunding the police.

The man, who is in his early 40s, said that he had no opinion of Chauvin and only a ‘somewhat favorable’ view of Floyd based on the fact that there had been so many demonstrations in support of him.

Asked about Black Lives Matter versus Blue Lives Matter he said that he believed, ‘Every life matters but black people their lives are not valued.’ 

Chauvin's attorneys will argue that Floyd's death was caused by drugs in his system

Chauvin's attorneys will argue that Floyd's death was caused by drugs in his system

Chauvin’s attorneys will argue that Floyd’s death was caused by drugs in his system

He added, ‘Just because that’s what they think doesn’t mean that’s what it is but we have to respect it.’ 

Juror No. 9: A mixed-race mother of one who convinced all parties that she could be fair and impartial.

She said that she did not believe the justice system was perfect ‘because humans are involved so there’s always room for improvement where humans are involved.’

And she admitted to having formed a slightly negative view of Chauvin, though had a strong faith in the police in general. 

She said she felt ‘neutral’ about Floyd but what scant opinions she had formed she said she could set them aside and start from the ‘blank slate’ of presumed innocence. 

Juror No. 10: A white woman in her 50s who works as a registered nurse and lives alone in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina.

She said that, though she questioned why Chauvin had kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for so long, she had not formed an opinion regarding cause of death or where the responsibility for it lay. 

She was questioned over whether her medical experience, and specifically her familiarity with resuscitating patients, would impact her ability to be an impartial judge of any measures taken to save Floyd.

When asked if she could avoid using her medical expertise to act as an expert witness she gave a confident ‘yes’. 

The woman said she would like to know more about what training Chauvin had in ‘de-escalation and restraint’ and wanted to know if Floyd was armed, stating that would make a difference to the decisions she might expect an officer to make. 

Juror No. 11: A black grandmother-of-two thought to be in her 60s who grew up in the south Minneapolis neighborhood where Floyd died.  

The woman retired from her job in child psychology about five years ago and now volunteers with youth to ‘help them find their way.’ 

She said she had seen the video of Floyd’s death only once and had turned it off after four or five minutes because ‘it just wasn’t something I needed to see.’

She has a relative in the Minneapolis Police Department and said she was ‘proud’ of them but insisted she had never to them about Floyd’s death or their job in law enforcement.  

The woman said she was aware of the settlement between the city and Floyd’s family but said it did not impact her view of the case ‘at all.’

The woman said she was ‘neutral’ about Chauvin and also had ‘no opinion of [Floyd] one way or another.’ 

She wrote in her juror questionnaire that she agreed with Black Lives Matter because ‘I am black and my life matters’ and responded that she ‘somewhat agrees’ that black and white people are often treated differently. 

Juror No. 12: The third juror selected Thursday – and number 12 out of 14 confirmed – is a white female thought to be in her 30s who works in commercial insurance. 

The woman, who has a bachelor’s degree in communications, said she had seen the video of Floyd’s death four to five times and had spoken to friends about it. 

She also said she had heard about the settlement but said it did not affect her opinion or ability to sit on the jury. 

The woman had written in her juror questionnaire that she had ‘somewhat negative’ views on both Floyd and Chauvin.

‘The media painted Mr Chauvin as an aggressive cop with tax problems,’ she wrote. 

‘George Floyd’s record wasn’t clean but he abused drugs at some point.’ 

The woman said she would be ‘terrified’ if the police department was defunded and dismantled and has a strong respect for police officers but she also agreed that ‘it is obvious change needs to happen’.  

She said she supported Black Lives Matter but does not get involved in protests. 

But she said she was able to set aside everything she already knows about the case and on both Chauvin and Floyd and make a decision based only on the evidence presented in court.   

When asked by the prosecution if her opinion of Floyd could differ if she was told he struggled with addiction to illegal drugs, she replied: ‘Quite honestly maybe.’  

‘It doesn’t make them a bad person… but it would make me more cautious,’ she said.

Juror No. 13: The white female juror, who is believed to be either in her 40s or 50s, described herself as a dog-lover who enjoyed walks in nature and an advocate for homelessness and affordable housing said that her reaction, on opening the prospective juror packet for the case was, ‘Go big or go home.’

She said that she had a slightly negative view of Chauvin who she viewed as having a ‘leadership’ role in the incident that led to Floyd’s death but she didn’t assign more responsibility to him for that.

She went onto say that she believed police treat black and white people equally and disagreed that officers are more likely to use force when dealing with a black suspect. 

She did, however, express the belief that the criminal justice system is bias against black and racial minorities – a view she said she based on economic disparities. 

Juror No. 14: The juror, a white woman in her 20s who works as a social worker, said that she didn’t think her opinion would be affected by the $27million settlement between Minneapolis and Floyd’s family.

She said she was neutral on both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter and does not support ‘defunding the police’ or doing away with the Minneapolis Police Department.

‘I believe black lives matter as much as Latina, police etc,’ the woman said. 

Juror No. 15: The final juror, a white man in his 20s who works an accountant, was on chosen Tuesday, wrapping up a process that took more than two weeks.

The final juror chosen is a married accountant who said he initially formed a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin, saying it seemed like the length of his restraint on Floyd was longer than necessary. 

But he said he would be able to put that aside and weigh the case based on the evidence.

He said Floyd’s death sparked discussions about racism at work, and he decided to educate himself by reading a book about the subject. 

He said he has a healthy respect for police and views Black Lives Matter somewhat favorably. 

However, he said some of the frustrations boiled over and may have been a factor in violent unrest in Minneapolis.

He also said he understands 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.’    

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