Juror who vowed impartiality in George Floyd case, despite donning BLM shirt, now touts jury duty as activism

Juror who vowed impartiality in George Floyd case, despite donning BLM shirt, now touts jury duty as activism

One of the jurors in the murder trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin may have misled the judge about his knowledge of the case, and said in an interview that serving on such panels is a form of community activism.

Brandon Mitchell, the first juror to come out publicly and do media interviews about the Chauvin trial, told syndicated radio host Erica Campbell this week that serving on juries is important “if we wanna see change, we wanna see some things going different.” He added, “We gotta get out there and get into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change. Jury duty is one of those things – jury duty, voting. All of those things we gotta do.”

Here’s the moment Juror #52 (Brandon Mitchell) from the Chauvin trial talks about jury duty as a means for societal change. pic.twitter.com/xewZitQXvq

— Janet (@janetburke27) May 2, 2021

Mitchell described in other media interviews how he and all but one of the other 11 jurors were quickly ready to convict Chauvin on all charges (second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter) in connection with the death last May of George Floyd. The incident sparked a wave of Black Lives matter protests, many of which turned violent, across the nation.

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And yet Mitchell, a 31-year-old black man who coaches high school basketball in Minneapolis, where Floyd’s infamous death occurred, reportedly told Judge Peter Cahill during jury selection in March that he hadn’t heard anything about the George Floyd civil case. He said he may have heard some basic information in news reports about trial dates and whatnot, but nothing that would prevent him from serving as an impartial juror.

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

Mitchell also told Chauvin’s defense lawyer during questioning that he didn’t know whether Chauvin did anything wrong and that he believed the officer had no intention of harming anyone.

However, a Facebook post last August by Travis Mitchell, uncle of Brandon Mitchell, appears to show the future juror wearing a BLM hat and a BLM T-shirt with a message that alluded specifically to the George Floyd incident: “Get your knee off our necks.” Floyd died after Chauvin pinned him to the pavement, pressing his knee against his neck for more than nine minutes.

Was there a BLM plant in the Derek Chauvin jury?

Brandon Mitchell, Juror # 52 in the Derek Chauvin case , was seen last summer (way before being summoned for jury duty) wearing a “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” shirt along with a Black Lives Matter hat. #DerekChauvin #blm pic.twitter.com/7XIKEzOFWu

— 𝒥𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒾𝒶𝓃 🇺🇸 (@_jmarie94) May 2, 2021

Some social media users suggested that Mitchell’s views could become grounds for an appeal in the Chauvin case. Another potential basis for seeking a new trial could be a threat during the trial by US Representative Maxine Waters (D-California) that failure by the jury to find Chauvin guilty of murder would necessitate “more confrontational” protests. Cahill said the congresswoman’s remarks could lead to the verdict being overturned. 

Lisa Christensen, an alternate juror in the case, said she feared “rioting and destruction” if Chauvin weren’t convicted. “I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict,” she said.

But Mitchell said he felt no such pressure. “I don’t think any of us felt like that,” he said in a CBS News interview.

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