Juror in Derek Chauvin trial said it felt like ‘watching someone die every day’
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A member of the jury that convicted former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd said the trial felt like “watching someone die every day” — and that Chauvin didn’t appear to show any remorse.
Brandon Mitchell, 32 — juror 52 in the case that attracted worldwide attention — told CNN the atmosphere in the courtroom “was just dark.”
“It felt like every day was a funeral and watching someone die every day,” Mitchell told the network. “It was tense every day. I wasn’t nervous, but it was stressful. It was a lot of pressure.”
Mitchell, a basketball coach, is the first juror who deliberated in the trial to speak publicly about his experience.
Alternate juror Lisa Christensen shared her story last week.
Mitchell recalled that Chauvin initially appeared confident, but that appeared to change as the testimonies went on.
“As the case went on his demeanor kind of changed to more of a confused look as this isn’t how it’s supposed to go,” he said.
“I didn’t see any remorse.”
However, he confessed that there was one juror who wasn’t convinced of the former officer’s guilt at first — and that the more than 10 hours of deliberations were largely spent arguing with that one person.
For Mitchell, the strongest moment for the prosecution came during respiratory expert Dr. Martin Tobin’s testimony, who described “the moment the light goes out of [Floyd’s] body.”
“Once Dr. Tobin was finished with his testimony, I felt like the trial was done,” Mitchell told CNN. “He spoke everything in laymen’s terms, and it made sense.”
Jurors ultimately found Chauvin, 45, guilty on all three charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years behind bars on the top charge.
The jury deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before reaching a verdict in the closely watched case stemming from Floyd’s May 25, 2020, death — which kicked off worldwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Viral video of the incident showed Chauvin pressing his knee to the back of Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes — despite pleas from bystanders to let him get up.
Mitchell, who initially came forward about his jury experience to Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell, wrote in his jury questionnaire he wanted to serve on this case “because of all the protests and everything that happened after the event.”
“This is the most historic case of my lifetime, and I would love to be a part of it,” he wrote.
Mitchell decided to speak even after Judge Peter Cahill ordered Friday that the names of jurors not be released for at least six months because of the flurry of media attention and the “unprecedented” levels of emails attorneys reported receiving that are “frequently incendiary, inflammatory, and threatening in nature,” according to CNN.
Mitchell told the broadcaster he has taken time to decompress after the jury’s verdict.
“Now that it’s been a few days, I’m starting to feel back to myself,” he said.
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