Update – March 23, 2019 at 12:48 p.m.: Jury selection ended. Court is recessed until Monday, March 29. Our original article is below.
Jury selection is ongoing in the trial of Derek Chauvin, 44, the fired Minneapolis police officer charged in the alleged murder of George Floyd, 46. Join the Law&Crime Network every day for live coverage 9 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET. We’re available on these platforms.
The process was postponed on Monday, March 8, but began on Tuesday, March 9.
#DerekChauvinTrial – BREAKING: Jury selection delayed at least until tomorrow. However, court might stay in session today to argue motions. Court is in recess until 10am CT/11am ET. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/phAirg5x1X
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) March 8, 2021
Both sides say they are ready to go and ready to try the case. Prosecution worries moving forward without 3rd degree murder creates appeal issue. Defense wants to file for review with MN Supreme Court. @LawCrimeNetwork
— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) March 8, 2021
As seen on footage, the defendant kneeled on the victim’s neck for minutes during a fateful arrest on May 25, 2020, while co-defendants Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng were on the man’s back and legs. Floyd, who was handcuffed behind his back, was face down in the street, saying he could not breathe. He called out for his late mother. Angry bystanders demanded Chauvin remove the knee. Floyd became unresponsive. Authorities carried his limp body onto a stretcher.
The question before jurors is whether this constituted second-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors are fighting to reinstate a count of third-degree murder, after the Minnesota Court of Appeals overruled Peter Cahill, the trial judge.
According to the government’s autopsy, Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest suffered while officers restrained him. He did have arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, and there was fentanyl in his system, as well as evidence of recent meth use, authorities said. The medical examiner determined these underlying conditions contributed to his death, but all told, this was a homicide.
Eight potential jurors are scheduled to be called per day, with four each morning, and four each afternoon. The prosecution and the defense will question them one at a time. As part of the questionnaire, jurors were asked about matters including their knowledge of the case, their impression of the defendants and the victim, if they ever watched video of the fateful incident, and their history with demonstrations that happened after Floyd’s death.
Indeed, the incident tapped into a cultural fissure: the ongoing national debate over how law enforcement treats people of color, especially Black men like Floyd.
You can read the questionnaire below:
[Image via Ben Crump]
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