Two jurors dismissed from Chauvin trial

Two jurors have been dismissed from the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after being re-questioned following the city’s record $27 million civil settlement with the family of George Floyd, the Black man whom Chauvin is charged with killing.

Hennepin County District Attorney Peter Cahill on Tuesday announced that he would reevaluate the seven jurors who were seated before news of the settlement broke Friday.

One of these jurors, a Hispanic man, told the judge Wednesday that the settlement "kind of confirms opinions that I already have,” leading to his dismissal.

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The other juror who was waived said the price tag on the settlement “shocked” him.

“It sent a message that the city of Minneapolis felt something was wrong,” he said. “It kind of swayed me, yes."

At $27 million, the settlement is the largest pretrial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in American history.

This leaves the panel with seven members: one multiracial woman, two Black men, two white women and two white men. 

While jury selection is supposed to continue until the jury has 12 members and 2 alternates, Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson petitioned Cahill on Monday to have the trial delayed and relocated outside of Minneapolis.

“I am gravely concerned with the news that broke on Friday related to the civil settlement,” Nelson said to Cahill. “The fact that this came in the exact middle of jury selection is perplexing to me, your honor."

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Cahill said that he would rule on the two motions Friday. The judge on Thursday is expected to rule on whether details from Floyd’s 2019 arrest in Minneapolis would be allowed.

Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead at an area hospital on May 25 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, including after he was unconscious. Graphic cellphone footage showed Floyd pleading with Chauvin multiple times, saying that he couldn’t breathe before becoming unresponsive.

Overall, Chauvin faces counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.