A juror in the Derek Chauvin murder trial is defending his attendance at the March on Washington anniversary last August in light of online speculation about his motives on the jury.
In recent days, a photo of Brandon Mitchell that was originally posted on social media around the Aug. 28 event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech began circulating online and on multiple news sites. Many online questioned his motive and its potential to fuel a possible appeal in Chauvin’s case.
Mitchell, who is Black, was one of 12 jurors who convicted Chauvin two weeks ago on all counts against him — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — in the May 25 killing of George Floyd, who is also Black. Mitchell was the first juror to go public about his role, and spoke to several media outlets last week.
“I’d never been to D.C.,” Mitchell said Monday of his reasons for attending the event. “The opportunity to go to D.C., the opportunity to be around thousands and thousands of Black people; I just thought it was a good opportunity to be a part of something.”
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The matter is likely to be cited by Nelson as one of many bases for an appeal, said a local law professor and defense attorney who are not involved in the case.
“If [Mitchell] specifically was asked, ‘Have you ever participated in a Black Lives Matter demonstration,’ and he answered, ‘No,’ to that, I think that would be an important appealable issue,” said Joseph Daly, emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
Judge Cahill asked Juror #52, whether he heard anything about the #GeorgeFloyd civil case. He says, no. He explained hearing some basic info about trial dates, etc from the news in recent months, but nothing that would keep him from serving as impartial juror. #ChauvinTrial
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) March 15, 2021
The picture shows Mitchell, 31, standing next to two of his cousins in Washington D.C. He is wearing a black T-shirt with a picture of King surrounded by the words, “GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS” and “BLM” (Black Lives Matter). Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd said 27 times that he couldn’t breathe.
Mitchell said the social media post was made by his uncle, who is the father of one of the cousins pictured, and appears to be “a partial real post.” However, he said, he has no recollection of wearing or owning the shirt.
Mitchell said the event was commemorating the 57th anniversary of King’s famous speech, which advocated for civil and economic rights for Blacks, and is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The event was “100% not” a march for Floyd, Mitchell said, adding, “It was directly related to MLK’s March on Washington from the ’60s … The date of the March on Washington is the date … It was literally called the anniversary of the March on Washington.”
Media accounts of the event show it had several components, including: advocating for racial justice, increasing voter registration, pushing for a new version of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and urging participation in the 2020 census.
The event also focused on police use-of-force. Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and family members of others who have been shot by police addressed the crowd. It served as a rallying point for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a federal police reform bill.
Mitchell said that he answered “no” to two questions in the juror questionnaire sent out before jury selection that asked about participation in demonstrations.
The first question asked, “Did you, or someone close to you, participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death?”
The second one asked, “Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?”
Mitchell said he was not concerned about backlash for his participation in the march, noting its historic significance beyond the Chauvin case.
“This was a big deal,” he said of the event. “It’s a national thing.”
Mitchell took issue with at least one news account of the picture that said he told the court during jury selection that he had no knowledge of Chauvin’s case.
“I think I was being extremely honest, for sure,” he said of the jury selection process. “I gave my views on everything — on the case, on Black Lives Matter.”
Nelson asked Mitchell several questions during jury selection, and Mitchell told him: He had watched clips of bystander video of the incident; he had talked about the case with his family, friends and co-workers; he had wondered why three other officers at the scene didn’t stop Chauvin; and he had a “very favorable” opinion of Black Lives Matter.
Mitchell also told Nelson he knew some police officers at his gym who were “great guys,” and that he felt neutral about Blue Lives Matter, a pro-police group. He said he could be neutral at trial.
Defense attorney Mike Padden said Mitchell should have divulged his participation and let attorneys and the judge decide whether it would unfairly influence him at trial.
“It’s disconcerting,” Padden said of Mitchell’s participation in the march. “Maybe with that disclosure, Mr. Nelson keeps him on the jury, but I don’t think so.”
Padden said had he been in Nelson’s shoes and known about the march in conjunction with Mitchell’s answer about BLM, he would have asked the court to dismiss Mitchell from the jury pool, and were that denied by the judge, he would have used a peremptory strike to dismiss him.
It’s the attorneys’ jobs to home in on issues and ferret out more detailed answers, said Daly, who praised Nelson’s trial performance.
“You don’t have to, as a potential juror, go to confession,” Daly said. “It’s not like you’re opening up your entire life and everything you’ve ever done that may or may not relate to this case. It’s the job of the lawyers to look for and find unbiased jurors”
The issue’s strength on appeal, Daly said, rests on whether the court believes Mitchell lied in his questionnaire or during jury selection, which is a crime.
Mitchell has been speaking out on national media in recent days. Here is one of his interviews.
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I’m inclined to question the motives of all involved.
As far as I’m concerned this is more than enough to get the verdicts overthrown and a new trial for Derek Chauvin. Not that a new trial would be much more likely to be fair than the first one was.
AND To see that juror go to prison for perjury!
Of course he lied – he wanted to be on the jury, and get his 15 minutes of fame. You can tell that by his immediate jump into ‘interview’ mode, where, incidentally, he describes coercing jury holdouts not comfortable with a conviction on all charges, to change their minds.
I question the whole thing as being staged. You can see Derick Chauvin posing for his picture as he knelt over George Floyd. And then the kangaroo court in the same city? What lawyer would agree to that? I believe this was staged by the Democrats to defund police and create lawlessness so they can declare martial law and install a communist style regime.
Look at some of the things that obiden has been doing, we are already heading into a communist style government, look at the vaccine passport that the government is pushing for, yeah if that is not communist then what is?
In every socialistic country you go any where and they ask for your papers, now its going to be the samething in this country, next thing you know they will be forcing you to get the vaccine, quid-pro-joe is already saying that if you do not get the shot you will lose all your rights, that is extortion and is a FELONY, quid-pro-joe has already been committing high crimes against the people. Things are only going to get worse from here on out.
I am shocked we’ve not yet seen someone suggest on air “PUT The vaccine in tranq darts, and go around SHOOTING IT INto those who ‘refuse to get the shot at a pharmacy”…
I live in a suburb of Minneapolis and I have seen the local and national news about this incident. For months after this happened the news only showed Chauvin’s knee on Floyds neck. The news media is partially responsible for the riots that occurred after. Chauvin did not get a fair trial.
I hope he gets off on appeal.
AND if justice was real, ALL THOSE news agencies, who STOKED THE FIRES of rioting, would be getting CRIMINALLY CHARGED with incitement, and CIVILLY HELD liable to pay out of their OWN POCKETS for all the damage caused.
This is like when I was on a jury, there was a young lady on the jury, whose boyfriend went to prison, as he assaulted a person. This juror indicated to the prosecutor, when the prosecutor was questioning us, as to whether we could be fair and impartial, that it is ok to assault people and yet the prosecutor allowed her to be on the jury. The case in which I was a juror was an assault case against an innocent homeowner. Needless to say, we had trouble with this female juror during our deliberations. The prosecutor had no business putting this young lady on the jury.
Probably cause he WANTED her there..
Sounds like one jury i heard about, while in Mayport, where one guy who got summoned, was asked about what HIS opinion of drunk drivers was (the case was about a drunk ILLEGAL ALIEN who drove in a STOLEN Car, without a license and killed a kid).. AND he supposedly replied “stick them on an electric chair and BURN THE ALCOHOLISM OUT of them.. THEN make them watch as their car gets chewed up by an industrial grinder.”
THE DA and prosecutor BOTH said “HE sounds good to me”..
Though from what i remember, the JUDGE overruled them and threw him off…
During juror selection my first time on jury duty the defense attorney asked a potential juror, ‘Right now is my client guilty or not guilty.’ The juror, an older man, said in a most firm tone of voice, “If they’re sitting in that chair they had to have done something.” He was excused.
Part of me is GLAD I have yet to receive a jury summons. BUT PART OF me feels, i have not done my duty to society, by NOT serving on a jury yet.
Chauvin’s attorney needs to ask for his client to be released on bail immediately while his appeals are heard. Chauvin’s legal teams has a good chance of being successful on appeal considering the pre-trial clothing choice of juror 52. I am not a supporter of Mr. Chauvin or his actions, but I think each person should have the opportunity to receive a fair trial. He got a jury that likely already knew how they were going to decide.
Assuming the photo of this juror wearing the King tee was made prior to the trial I think anyone would question the ability of this man to be an impartial juror. He either bought the shirt or someone gave it to him. Either way his wearing the shirt would indicate he had read the message and agreed with the message.
Everyone knows that Chauvin did not get an impartial jury. He was convicted before the trial started. Medical evidence dictates that he did not personally kill floyd. floyd was saying that he could not breath when first put into the car. A impartial jury could not ignore this fact. Chauvin was lynched.
He was doomed from day one. Right after the incident Governor Walz put Attorney General Keith Ellison in charge which became the state vs Chauvin. With all the money Ellison wanted he was able to have 14 lawyers, 45 witness some specialty from around the country and Chauvin had 1 lawyer and 1 specialty witness. Also think about this; the family got 57 million and never had to spend one dime for lawyers or anything else for the trial. The state paid for it all.
NOR DID they have to pay one dime out, to RECOMPENSE all the stores that got looted or burned down..
Murder/Manslaughter is a crime against the state. The victim is represented by the DA or AG. What point are you trying to make?
How much &&#$&((&^%$^ *&$%&***%## would the media have raised if a juror attended a MAGA rally?! Of course, the left has no “conflicts” of interest, anything they engage in is legitimate.
We’d hear it 24/7, till that juror was booted off..
One of the unfortunate consequences of black chattel slavery was the development in the slaves — and consequently in the descendents of those who survived — of the ability to convincingly lie to whites with what is termed “a straight face.” The terrible fact is that the cruelty of punishment such as whippings, perhaps to death, meted out to slaves by their overseers or owners — Southern Democrats — led to whatever defenses they could muster. If a lie that allowed the slave to escape punishment, then of course it would be told! That means if the lie was compromise by eye or body movements — or evidence that betrayed the lie — it could and did lead to even worse treatment. This is not to say that people of other ethnicities or races could not convincingly lie. Sure they can and do. But the dynamic of racial bias on lying has been studied. See for example https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797617705399. The finding is that whites inital reaction to statements by (male) blacks is more often disbelief. Subsequent questioning typically changes that initial impression and encourages belief in truthfulness. In the matter of Brandon Mitchell, that shirt echoing the George Floyd refrain of “I can’t breathe” and the BLM hat is physical evidence of his bias and contrived lying. Mitchell had his mind made up about Derek Chauvain before the show-trial even began.
Up is down ! Wrong is Right ! This guy is the poster boy for RACISM in America. Everything he says, thinks and does is filtered through the color of his skin first. He does not have the ability to be un-biased. Sadly, the vast majority of black folks filter this way. The dem party has groomed them to do so for many, many years. Since odumma was elected and even worse now, they have been set apart and used just as if they were slaves once again. They have done the same with gays, illegals, young people, and any minority aspects – fueling their anger and hate over something that ended decades ago. Are there still white racists – certainly – but a fringe percentage. Am I a racist ? Certainly not. As a Christian, I am held to a standard that should keep me balanced. HOWEVER, I am certainly biased against folks who are racist, no matter their color, ethnicity, gender or whatever. Anyone who wears a blm shirt and really knows what it stands for – is racist, just as anyone wearing a kkk shirt. And this guy again – is the poster boy for racism. The pendelum has now swung too far – we will never get it back to the middle…but we can rid ourselves of the cancer of the current dem party who are really socialists, communists, anarchists, globalists, marxists, anti-American, anti-Christian humanoids. They are the pied pipers of evil and destruction – when will the sheeple learn ????
This is the scenario now developing:
The over-reaction and partisan posturing has put the trial and resulting sentence in serious question.
Appeals court will order new trial or declare that the first trial was so tainted that the defendant must be set free.
If he is set free, more riots and sanctimonious accusations of racism will be screamed nationwide.
This will further antagonize Americans of all ethnic groups; leading to yet more charges of racism. A vicious and deadly cycle delighting only the race hustlers…and Satan.
I hope to GOD, the appeals court says “THIS IS TOO TAINTED of a conviction. The convictions AND sentencing is overruled.. Mr Chauvin you are free to go”.
I would like to see what the verdict would be if he had been tried in a Constitutional state. Not saying he would get off completely (like if I was on the jury), but most of the worst of this bull would be thrown out. Basically, he may have held the guy down longer than if they had just hog-tied him and thrown him in the back of the car, but this POS died of a drug overdose.
That charity group, Judicial amnesty (or what ever it is) the one that does looks at long standing cases, to see if they can get someone wrongfully convicetd, freed, THEY supposedly looked at this, and said CAUSE OF THIS ALONE< his convictions should get overturned.