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Jury selection continued Monday, one week before opening statements in the Derek Chauvin trial are set to begin, reports Esme Murphy (2:32). WCCO 4 News At 5 - March 22, 2021
- Jury selection continued today one week before opening statements in the Derek Chauvin trial. Chauvin is the former Minneapolis officer charged in the death of George Floyd. Today, the court seated another juror, for a total of 14. However, the judge says he still wants at least one more person. Esme Murphy is live in Minneapolis to explain. Esme?
ESME MURPHY: Well Frank, the judge said originally he wanted two alternates for this jury, but after a slew of publicity surrounding that $27 million settlement between the city of Minneapolis and George Floyd's family, the judge said he would like one more alternate.
The 14th juror is a white woman in her 20s who is a social worker, recently married, who strongly disagrees with defunding the police, and has a somewhat negative view of Derek Chauvin. She says she has talked about the case with a family member.
- I, specifically to this one, just have been involved in those conversations of, he should not have had his knee on the neck for that long.
ESME MURPHY: She also says she was frightened by the riots.
ERIC NELSON: On Twitter, you wrote that you were scared for the state of Minnesota, as we were told violence was moving to the suburbs on the news.
ESME MURPHY: But she said she could put those views aside and be impartial. Once again the $27 million settlement between the city of Minneapolis and the Floyd family hung over jury selection.
- Yet by accident, just on social media, I saw the amount that was given to the family.
ESME MURPHY: While most prospective jurors said they would not be influenced by the settlement, this juror said the news changed his mind.
- I guess it sort of swayed my opinion to hear that they got that big of a--
PETER CAHILL: OK.
- That much money, I guess.
ESME MURPHY: The judge dismissed this juror after he admitted he could not be impartial. Concern about the pretrial publicity is so concerning to the judge that he says he wants more than just two alternates for this trial. But the concern has not swayed him enough to grant another defense motion to move the trial out of Minneapolis. Once again, that request was denied.
And one important note, the last jurors picked are not necessarily the alternates in the case. The judge has not yet said how he's going to pick the alternates. As for the schedule, right now it looks like we are right on schedule for opening arguments and testimony a week from today.
- All right, Esme Murphy, live from Minneapolis. Thank you. Our live all day coverage will continue tomorrow on CBSN Minnesota. You can find us at WCCO.com or through the free CBS News app.