Chauvin Requests a New Trial Following Massive Juror Bias Scandal

Brittany M. Hughes | May 4, 2021
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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed a motion in court for a new trial after it turns out one of the jurors who helped convict him of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter had attended a BLM protest in D.C., wore a t-shirt with references to George Floyd on it, and then lied during jury selection about his past participation in “social justice” rallies.

Chauvin, who in April was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May, is now alleging he didn’t get a fair trial in part because the judge refused to sequester the jury during the trial and potentially left them open to all manner of outside influence by the media, the public, and political rhetoric (Maxine Waters, anyone?).

Via his lawyer, Eric Nelson, Chauvin is also claiming "jury intimidation or potential fear of retribution” for why the 12-person panel convicted him on all charges after one alternate juror told reporters she feared "people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict."

“The reason, at that time, was I did not know what the outcome was going to be, so I felt like either way you are going to disappoint one group or the other,” Brooklyn Center resident Lisa Christensen told KARE 11. “I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again, and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.”

Related: Judge: Maxine Waters Comments Could Lead To ‘Whole Trial Overturned’ In Chauvin Case

Adding to claims of a potentially biased jury, Brandon Mitchell, one of the jurors who decided Chauvin’s fate, has made a slew of media appearances since the trial, during which he's claimed that serving on a jury was a chance to “spark some change,” the Daily Wire reports. 

“I mean, it’s important. If we want to see some change and we want to see some things going different, we got to get out there and get into these avenues and get into these rooms to try to spark some change,” Mitchell told the host of one local morning show on an April 27, following Chauvin’s conviction. “Jury duty is one of the things. Jury duty, voting, all those little things, the things we got to do.”

Photos also show Mitchell wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt referencing George Floyd during a social justice rally in D.C. prior to the trial, and during which members of Floyd’s family spoke. Later, during jury selection, Mitchell reportedly answered “no” when asked whether he had participated in rallies against police brutality.