Story at a glance:
- Brandon Mitchell was a juror of former officer Derek Chauvin.
- Mitchell was photographed wearing a BLM T-Shirt during a protest.
- Chauvin’s attorney will probably use this against the court decision, but it most likely will not overturn the case, legal experts say.
Brandon Mitchell was one of the jurors who said former officer Derek Chauvin was guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd.
But now a photo of Mitchell at a Washington, D.C., rally called "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” or “Get Off Our Necks” for short, has surfaced online, Business Insider reported, and leading some to be concerned about a conflict of interest.
The Get Your Knee Off Our Necks march on Aug. 28, 2020, was an event organized by the National Action Network, which is owned by Al Sharpton and partnered with Martin Luther King III.
The protest, where Mitchell wore a Black Lives Matter (BLM) T-shirt that read “Get your knee off our necks,” was a response to the Floyd incident that happened on May 25, 2020.
Some legal experts have told the Star Tribune, CBS Minnesota and The Washington Post the perception of a BLM supporter determining the fate of an officer could lead to questions in court but would likely not change the outcome.
“Jury consultant Alan Tuerkheimer said it is likely that Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric J. Nelson will use this information to push for an appeal but argued that the photo itself would not be enough to dismiss the conviction,” The Washington Post reported.
Jurors were instructed to answer a questionnaire if they had any involvement in the recent Floyd protests whether it be themselves or someone they know, which Mitchell felt like he answered both questions truthfully — he said no.
“That could change the outcome of things; if there is anything that makes him seem that he was not forthcoming, it could be an avenue for the judge to reconsider the case,” Tuerkheimer told The Post, adding that Judge Peter Cahill would have “high standards” in overturning the court case.
However, Mitchell told CBS that the shirt was in response to events in 2020 in general, not Floyd in particular. Meanwhile, he told the Tribune he did not remember wearing a BLM shirt.
In his justification, Mitchell said the march was about promoting voting registration, not about Floyd.
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