Jury seated in murder trial of ex-policeman for George Floyd’s death

The Hennepin County Government Center is seen as jury selection continues in the trial of former police Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 22, 2021.
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

The last member of a full jury of 12, along with three alternates, were seated on Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing murder charges in the arrest and death of George Floyd last year.

Twelve jurors and two alternates had been seated since the trial began two weeks ago: six white women, two white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records.

A third alternate was seated on Tuesday, a white man who said he worked as an accountant.

Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, saying he was following police training during the deadly arrest of Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill and the lawyers in the case have questioned dozens of potential jurors in court in the last two weeks to weigh their impartiality. Chauvin, wearing a suit and tie, has taken extensive notes on a yellow legal pad throughout the proceedings.

All of those interviewed said they were aware of video showing Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on the neck of Floyd as the 46-year-old Black man begged for his life. Almost all said they had seen at least some of the footage, which sparked global protests against police brutality and racism.

The court has promised to preserve jurors’ anonymity for the duration of the trial, which is taking place in a tower in downtown Minneapolis ringed by concrete barriers and barbed wire and patrolled by soldiers from the state’s National Guard.

Opening arguments are due to begin on Monday.

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