One of the Derek Chauvin jurors, Brandon Mitchell, has gone public, and it appears that he may have been less than honest during jury selection and is in fact a BLM activist. The Post Millenial reports:
A juror on the Derek Chauvin trial who told the court that he had no prior knowledge of the George Floyd civil case was photographed last August wearing a shirt that read “Get your knee off our necks” and “BLM.” He stated last week that he saw jury duty as a means to “spark some change.”
This is what a trial observer tweeted during jury selection. Brandon Mitchell was juror #52:
But this is what Mitchell’s uncle posted on Facebook last August:
“Black Lives Matter” and “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.” Not exactly a neutral juror, nor a truthful one on voir dire. Mitchell has also given an interview in which he touted jury service as a form of activism:
Speaking in a show called Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell on April 27, Mitchell said that people should say yes to jury duty as a means to promote societal change.
“I mean it’s important if we wanna see some change, we wanna see some things going different, we gotta into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change,” he said. “Jury duty is one of those things. Jury duty. Voting. All of those things we gotta do.”
It seems clear that Derek Chauvin was convicted by a jury that included some who never should have been selected because their minds were already made up–not surprising, given the pervasive and uniformly anti-Chauvin publicity that went on for nearly a year before the trial–and others, like the alternate who gave interviews last week, who were sensitive to the fact that if they delivered the “wrong” verdict, their houses may be burned down and their families’ lives could be in danger.
Whether Chauvin was guilty, I don’t know. We all know what he did, we saw it on video. But what was the cause or causes of death? And what was Chauvin’s intent and state of mind? The videos can’t tell us.
I don’t think Chauvin got the kind of aggressive defense he deserved, but I also think, given the overwhelming pretrial publicity and the inhuman pressures on jurors, that it probably didn’t make any difference.