By The Associated Press
Troy Warren #local-all #breaking-all
MINNEAPOLIS — Fifteen jurors have been selected for the case against Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.
Twelve jurors and two alternates will actually hear the evidence, but a 15th person was chosen in case one of the other panelists is unable to serve when opening statements begin Monday. That 15th person will be dismissed at the start of trial if the rest of the jury remains intact.
The panel includes six men and nine women; nine of the jurors are white, four are Black, and two are multiracial, according to the court. They include a chemist, a nurse, a social worker and a grandmother.
Here is a closer look at the panel, in the order in which jurors were selected. They are identified by juror number only; the judge has ordered their names withheld until after the trial due to the high-profile nature of the case. Their races and approximate ages were provided by the court.
Juror No. 2
Juror No. 2 is a white man in his 20s who works as a chemist. With a combined degree in environmental studies and chemistry, he works in a lab where he tests samples for contaminants that may be harmful to the environment or worker hygiene. He said he enjoys outdoor activities, including Ultimate Frisbee, backpacking and biking. He and his fiancée visited George Floyd Square because Floyd’s arrest was such a “transformative event for that area.”
Juror No. 2 said he worked for seven or eight summers at a camp through his childhood synagogue. He considers himself to be a logical thinker, and is the only juror on the panel who said he has never seen bystander video of Floyd’s arrest.
Juror No. 9
Juror No. 9 is a multiracial woman in her 20s who has Type 1 diabetes. She grew up in northern Minnesota and has an uncle who is a police officer in that area. She described herself as a “go-with-the-flow, open-minded type of person” and said she was “super excited” to get her jury notice.
She said she has only watched the bystander video once, and it gave her a “somewhat negative” impression of Chauvin. She said “that video just makes you sad. Nobody wants to see somebody die, whether it was his fault or not.” She said there could be other possible explanations for Chauvin’s actions, suggesting that Floyd might have been resisting, or civilian lives may have been in danger.
Juror No. 19
Juror No. 19 is a white man in his 30s. He is an auditor who said he tries to resolve conflict and make decisions based on facts, not emotions. He has a friend who is a canine officer with the Minneapolis Police Department.
He said he supports Black Lives Matter as a general concept but disagrees with some of the ways group members go about things. He has an unfavorable opinion of Blue Lives Matter. He wrote in his questionnaire that he heard Floyd was on hard drugs, but said he doesn’t believe it should have much impact on the case. “Whether you are under the influence of drugs doesn’t determine whether you should be living or dead,” he said.
Juror No. 27
Juror No. 27 is a Black man in his 30s who immigrated to America more than 14 years ago. He went to school in Nebraska and moved to Minnesota in 2012. He manages eight people at his job in IT security, and speaks multiple languages including French. He and his wife have a dog, but no children. He is a big Minnesota Gophers fan and loves the Vikings.
He said he had a somewhat negative view of Chauvin, based on clips of bystander video he saw on TV. He said he talked with his wife about Floyd’s death: “We talked about how it could have been me, or anyone else,” he said. Juror No. 27 said he hopes to learn more about events that led up to Floyd’s arrest.
Juror No. 44
Juror No. 44 is a white woman in her 50s, a single mom of two teenage boys. She is an executive in the nonprofit sector, working in health care advocacy. She said she had prior professional dealings with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in her job, but said it would not affect her impartiality.
She said she was exposed to a lot of news about this case, adding that the media is biased and doesn’t have all the facts. She saw only part of the bystander video and said she has empathy for both Floyd and Chauvin. She said she had a somewhat negative view of Chauvin and a neutral opinion of Floyd, saying he was not a model citizen but didn’t “deserve to die.”
She said she strongly agrees that the criminal justice system is biased against racial and ethnic minorities. “Not all police are bad,” she said. “I don’t want them terrorized or disrespected. But bad police need to go.”
Juror No. 52
Juror No. 52 is a Black man in his 30s. He describes himself as a friendly, positive person. He works in banking and likes sports, especially basketball. He coaches youth sports and writes creatively for a hobby, including scripts and poetry.
He said he had neutral opinions on Chauvin and Floyd. He said he has not seen the bystander video in its entirety but has seen clips of it two or three times. He hasn’t posted about it on social media but has talked with family and friends and he wrote in his questionnaire that his opinion has been “why didn’t the other officers stop Chauvin.”
“I don’t know if he was doing something wrong or not, but somebody died … Even if you have no intention of doing something and something happens, somebody could’ve still intervened and prevented that,” he said. He has a very favorable view of Black Lives Matter, saying, “Black lives just want to be treated as equals and not killed or treated in an aggressive manner simply because they are Black.”
Juror No. 55
Juror No. 55 is a white woman in her 50s who is a single parent of two children. Her youngest is a teenager. She works as an executive assistant at a health care clinic and sells Pampered Chef. She enjoys riding motorcycles, saying she picked it up because her late husband was interested in it and she rides with him now “in the spirit.”
She said she was “disturbed” by the bystander video and “I just couldn’t watch it anymore.” She said she has a somewhat unfavorable view of Chauvin because she feels he could’ve handled the situation differently. Still, she said she wouldn’t be able to form an opinion until she has all of the facts. She has a basic trust in police officers, and a somewhat unfavorable view of Black Lives Matter, saying, “All lives matter to me. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they are.”
Juror No. 79
Juror No. 79 is a Black man in his 40s, a father who works in management and has lived in the Twin Cities area for about two decades after immigrating to America. He said he lives in a suburb and his home was burglarized once and police responded appropriately, even though the suspect was never caught.
He said he trusts police, but also feels it’s appropriate for jurors to evaluate an officer’s actions: “I would say it’s another pair of eyes and a new mind just looking at the action,” he said. He has a son about to take driver’s education. He said he would tell his son that when police stop him, he should cooperate. When asked if people who don’t cooperate have themselves to blame, he said “cooperation is good. … You help everybody.”
Juror No. 85
Juror No. 85 is a multiracial woman in her 40s, who is married and has a small child. She grew up in a river town and attended college in western Wisconsin. She is a consultant who helps companies with reorganizations and other transitions.
She said she has a neutral view of Floyd, writing in her questionnaire that she knew he died “as a result of this encounter” but did not know what his actions were before it happened. When pressed if she thought Chauvin was responsible, she said: “No, I never heard what a cause of death was.”
She said she has a pretty strong faith in police, but they are human and can make mistakes. She said she would generally agree that if someone does not cooperate, he or she might have themselves to blame. “You respect police and you do what they ask,” she said.
Juror No. 89
Juror No. 89 is a white woman in her 50s who lives in a suburb. She is a registered nurse currently working with patients on ventilators, including those with COVID-19, and has prior experience in cardiac care.
She was questioned extensively about her experience as a nurse, whether she has ever resuscitated anyone and how she would view medical evidence in the case. The woman said she would draw upon her knowledge to evaluate medical testimony, but said she’d refrain from using her knowledge in the jury room.
She said she somewhat disagrees that it’s not right to second-guess decisions officers make.
Juror No. 91
Juror No. 91 is a Black woman in her 60s. She is a grandmother of two who studied child psychology and worked in marketing before she retired, and she felt strongly that being on a jury was her civic duty. The woman, who volunteers with underserved youth, said she watched the bystander video of Floyd’s arrest for about four or five minutes, then shut it off because “it just wasn’t something that I needed to see.”
She grew up about 10 or 15 blocks from the site of Floyd’s arrest, but said she moved decades ago and has no reason to revisit the area. She had a very favorable view of Black Lives Matter, writing in her questionnaire “I am Black and my life matters,” though she said she is not familiar with the organization. She has a relative who is a police officer with Minneapolis.
Juror No. 92
Juror No. 92 is a white woman in her 40s who works in the commercial insurance business.
She said she has experience with someone who struggled with alcohol, and might view someone who uses drugs cautiously, out of fear they could act violently or aggressively when under the influence. Still, she said, she doesn’t agree that someone who uses drugs or doesn’t cooperate with police should be treated poorly. “If someone uses drugs, I don’t think there should be ramifications of violence for that,” she said.
Juror No. 96
Juror No. 96 is a white woman in her 50s, who had a job in customer service but is between jobs. She has done volunteer work with the homeless and wants to work on affordable housing issues. She said she has only seen clips of the video of Floyd’s arrest, and said she needs to learn more about what happened beforehand.
She said she has never personally seen police officers respond to Black people or minorities with more force than white people. She also said a person should have nothing to fear from police if they cooperate and comply with commands – though she stopped short of saying that means a person deserves to be harmed.
“If you’re not listening to what the commands are, obviously something else needs to happen to resolve the situation,” she said of officers’ actions. “I don’t know how far the steps need to go.”
Juror No. 118
Juror No. 118 is a white woman in her 20s, who was married in October and recently got a goldendoodle puppy. She has been a social worker for five years, and currently coordinates in-home services for people of all ages and mental health diagnoses to help them live independently.
She said she has had conversations with others about police reform and said she thinks “there are things that should be changed.” But she also described police and their jobs as important, and said she is “always looking at every side of things.”
Juror No. 131
Juror No 131, a white man in his 20s, is an accountant who is married and has a Bernese mountain dog puppy. He is a sports fan who enjoys March Madness and plays sports himself, including tennis. He said he approaches things with an analytical mind.
He said he initially formed a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin, saying the duration of his restraint on Floyd was longer than necessary. He said Floyd’s death sparked discussions about racism at work, and he decided to read a book about the subject.
He said he respects police and views Black Lives Matter somewhat favorably, but noted he believes some frustrations contributed to 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.”