Derek Chauvin juror Brandon Mitchell says a jury member was 'unsure' knee-to-neck hold killed George Floyd
Out of the 12 jurors, 11 were ready to convict Chauvin right away. But there was one juror, a White woman, who had doubts
On April 20, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of George Floyd's murder and was convicted on all charges -- second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder -- by a 12-member jury. One of the jurors, Brandon Mitchell, who was formerly known as Juror 52, has now spoken about his experience and what exactly happened inside the jury room.
The New York Times reported that when the jury was sent to a hotel conference room to deliberate and make a decision over the trial that lasted for three weeks and saw a number of people testifying in the court, 11 out of 12 jurors were ready to convict Chauvin right away. But there was one juror, a white woman, who was initially “unsure”. The 31-year-old Mitchell said on Thursday, April 29, the reason behind her uncertainty was her doubt whether the 45-year-old’s knee hold was responsible for the Black man’s death. However, she was sure that Chauvin was responsible for Floyd’s death because there was no doubt he had continued to restrain him even after Floyd lost consciousness and did not provide any medical assistance.
And, on the second day of discussion, all the jury members - consisting of four Black, six white, and two multiracial jurors - eventually came to the conclusion that Chauvin should be convicted on a third-degree murder charge. Also, after another half an hour of discussion, they all reached their verdict on a second-degree murder conviction too. But they did not immediately make their decision official. All of them waited till lunch to fill out the forms, Mitchell said. “We didn’t want to rush. We took a pause to soak it in and say, ‘This is what we’re about to do,’” he added.
Elsewhere in the interview, the high school basketball coach in Minneapolis especially mentioned Dr. Martin J. Tobin’s testimony during the trial. “He just had all of our attention 100 percent. I don’t know if there is any other witness that captured us like that,” Mitchell noted. He also went on to explain why he found the defense’s case weak as it lacked in revelatory testimony. “I was waiting for a moment that was going to be climactic like ‘Wow!’ — a ‘Boom! Aha!’ moment — and it just never happened. Nothing ever hit. It was kind of deflating. It made the case easy,” he remarked.
This comes after an alternate Chauvin juror, who had no role to play in the verdict, came out to open up about her experience. Lisa Christensen spoke with ‘CBS This Morning’ on April 22, where she agreed with the verdict against the killer. She also claimed that during the trial, she and Chauvin “locked eyes quite a few times and I was pretty uncomfortable.”
“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, who was earlier known as juror number 96, told CBS News' Jamie Yuccas. She added, “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.”
When Yuccas asked, “Why did you think he was guilty? What led you to that belief?” Christensen stated, “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.”