On Wednesday, a Minnesota judge dismissed two jurors seated in Derek Chauvin’s trial amid concerns that the $27 million settlement between the city of Minneapolis and George Floyd’s family may influence their opinion.
According to the Star Tribune, the two dismissed jurors — a Hispanic man in his 20s and a white man in his 30s — said they were aware of the settlement and it somehow affected their opinion of the case. The seven other seated jurors were either unaware of the settlement or said it did not affect their opinion.
The first dismissed juror said the settlement made between the city of Minneapolis and Floyd’s family “kind of confirms” what he believed about this case and that the information would make it hard for him to be impartial. Meanwhile, the second juror said the amount of the settlement leads him to believe city officials felt misconduct was involved, the Star Tribune reported.
Chauvin, 44, is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death. Three other ex-officers, Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34 are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
All four officers were fired for their role in Floyd’s arrest.
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers were filmed arresting Floyd, 46, on suspicion that he used a counterfeit bill at the Cup Foods supermarket. After police pulled Floyd out of his car and handcuffed him, Chauvin was filmed forcing his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes.
Floyd was heard gasping for air and saying he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and died.
While Hennepin County’s autopsy report stated that there was no evidence “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” an independent autopsy asserted that sustained forceful pressure on Floyd’s neck and back led to his death. Both reports mentioned drugs in Floyd’s system but concluded his death was a homicide.
Chauvin is being tried separately from the other three former officers. Their trial is scheduled to begin this summer.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/Hennepin County jail; George Floyd; Facebook]