Who is Lisa Christensen? Alternate Derek Chauvin juror felt 'pretty uncomfortable' after locking eyes with him
'Every time I would look up, he was right in my vision, so we had locked eyes quite a few times and I was pretty uncomfortable,' Christensen, who was known to the court as juror number 96, said
An alternate juror for the Derek Chauvin murder trial has now spoken up about her experience. Lisa Christensen, who did not have a role in the final verdict, gave an interview to ‘CBS This Morning’ on Thursday, April 22, where she agreed with the ruling that found the former Minneapolis officer guilty of killing Geroge Floyd. Christensen, who was known to the court as juror number 96, also stated that she and Chauvin “locked eyes quite a few times and I was pretty uncomfortable.”
While the main jurors who convicted Chauvin have not been named yet, Christensen came forward with her story and said she was not sure initially of being on the jury when she was first called up. “I was worried about, you know, whatever the verdict may be if some people felt strongly on one side, other people felt strongly on the other side. So no matter what, I felt like somebody wasn't going to be happy,” Christensen told CBS News' Jamie Yuccas.
Even though Christensen was not authorized to make a decision in the case, she came to her own conclusion. “I felt he was guilty. They read the jury instructions to us in the courtroom briefly, but I didn't know it was going to be guilty on all counts but I would have said guilty,” she said. When the host asked, “Why did you think he was guilty? What led you to that belief?” Christensen replied: “I just felt like the prosecution made a really good, strong argument. Dr Tobin was the one that really did it for me. He explained everything. I understood it down to where he said this is the moment that he lost his life, really got to me.”
Questioned further by Yuccas whether anyone “made an impact with the defense? Good or bad?”, the juror, the first one selected to discuss the case publicly, remarked, “I don't think they had a good impact. I think he over-promised in the beginning and didn't live up to what he said he was going to do."
During the interview, Christensen also mentioned Darnella Frazier, who made the video that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. She said, “I really felt that she felt guilty for not doing more and she feels responsible in a way, and I feel really bad for her. But I commend her on taking the video because, without her, I don't think this would have been possible.”
About the disturbing video, Christensen said she went from watching it two or three times on the news to watching the full footage a number of times. “It was emotional. I think my eyes teared up a couple of times, so especially seeing it from different angles and things,” she noted, and went on to say, “I felt like he [Chauvin] was the leader, and the other officers were following his lead. I kind of felt like he wasn't taking the warnings seriously, obviously, kind of like I know what I'm doing.”
Chauvin was convicted on April 20. He was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of the 46-year-old African-American man. The trial has concluded, but Christensen said it will have an impact on her. She added, “I just don't understand how it got from a counterfeit 20 dollar bill to a death. It kind of shocks me.”