Today, the search for 12 impartial jurors to hear the state’s case against Derek Chauvin for the publicly-broadcasted murder of George Floyd begins at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As Bossip reported last week, construction crews have been working for weeks now to “secure” the area from protesters and those who the city believes may kick up dust. If they thought a few barricades and barbed wire were going to keep people out of the streets then they got us all the way f***ed up.
Protesters have been gathered and marching for days now leading up to today’s proceedings and they aren’t being quiet about it. We love to see it.
Considering the eruption of protest and demonstration during the summer of 2020, there is not a single person in this country who has not heard of George Floyd, and literally, everyone has an opinion about it. Finding impartiality will not be easy and the makeup of this jury is the first litmus test of how fair the public can expect this trial to be. A CNN report cites a lawyer who spoke directly to this issue.
“No matter what a potential juror has seen or heard, can they set that aside and base their decision on evidence in court and the law the judge gives them?” said Mary Moriarty, the former chief Hennepin County public defender.
Peep this segment that outlines what is at stake during this jury selection process.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. Potential jurors were given a 16-page questionnaire back in December to ask their opinions on Black Lives Matter, protests, policing, and personal encounters with law enforcement.
As for the other officers involved, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, they will not be testifying in Chauvin’s case but their actions or lack thereof will be a major part of proving his guilt or (barf) innocence. Due to COVID-19 protocol, their joint trial has been moved to the summer.
Peter Cahill will be the judge presiding over the case. Here’s a brief breakdown of the charges against Chauvin:
The second-degree unintentional murder charge alleges that Chauvin killed Floyd “without intent” while he committed or attempted to commit felony third-degree assault, which is defined as inflicting “substantial” bodily harm. The charge is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.The second-degree manslaughter charge alleges that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death by “his culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk and consciously took the chances of causing death or great bodily harm.” “Culpable negligence” is essentially a heightened form of ordinary negligence, Moriarty explained. The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.