Trial proceedings in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged with the murder of George Floyd got underway Tuesday, following a 24-hour delay as lawyers argued whether or not to add an additional charge of third-degree murder to the case against Chauvin. Chauvin is currently facing charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death in Hennepin County, Minnesota court. Chauvin has plead not guilty to both charges, although he initially agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder last year on the condition that he would not face federal civil rights charges in the 46-year-old Floyd’s killing.
Jury selection which was to have begun on Monday has been especially problematic for Chauvin’s camp since the grim and graphic video of the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until he died has viewed worldwide and sparked international outrage.
The first juror considered, a woman from Mexico, was not selected to serve on the jury after she admitted she had seen the video of Chauvin killing Floyd as the unarmed man begged for his life.
Problems persist with finding and identifying selecting jurors:
From Star Tribune:
The second potential juror to be brought into the courtroom and the only juror selected to date was chosen after being questioned at length by defense attorney Eric Nelson and for a few minutes by the prosecution. He revealed that he is a chemist who lives in Minneapolis and because of his profession, “I consider myself a pretty logical person. … I rely on facts and logic and what’s in front of me. Opinion and facts are important distinctions for me.”
The newly chosen juror, who is white, said he has a generally favorable view of the Black Lives Matter cause but added that “I think all lives matter equally” and that the “Blue Lives Matter” message among police advocates is a counter viewpoint that isn’t necessary.
Jury selection is set to continue for the next three weeks.