2 seated jurors in Derek Chauvin trial dismissed over $27M civil settlement knowledge
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Two previously seated jurors were dismissed Wednesday from serving on the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial after they told the judge they could not remain impartial after learning of the $27 million civil settlement for the family of George Floyd. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is charged in Floyd’s death.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill called the first seven jurors seated in the trial back to the courtroom via Zoom at 8:45 a.m. to question them over whether they had heard or read about the civil settlement. The city's announcement came on Friday after they had been selected to sit on the jury. If they had heard the news, Cahill asked whether they could still remain impartial in deciding the case.
Juror No. 36, a Hispanic man in his 20s, was dismissed for cause after he told the judge he had heard about the lawsuit and said it would impact his ability to be impartial "a lot." He said it confirmed his negative opinion of Chauvin.
Juror No. 20, a white man in his 30s, told the judge he saw the headline about the settlement and that the dollar amount was "shocking" to him. He said he assumed the city was admitting something went wrong.
There are now only seven jurors seated in the trial, down from nine after the sixth day of jury selection Tuesday. Both sides will continue to question potential jurors until they can seat a 12-person jury, with two alternates.
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The seven jurors were re-questioned after Judge Cahill granted a motion by Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, to call them back over concerns the news of the record civil settlement would affect his client’s ability to get a fair and impartial trial.