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Jury Selection Draws to a Close in Derek Chauvin Case

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After ten days of questioning, both sides have settled on 14 jurors, including five men and nine women in the trial against Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd last May. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Floyd died after former officer Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds until Floyd stopped breathing. Chauvin ignored Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe.

Of the jurors selected, eight of the jurors are white, four are Black and two identify as multiracial.

Judge Peter Cahill has expressed that he would like to seat 15 jurors. He is hoping to have at least 14—12 jurors and two alternates. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on March 29.

“We only need the one,” Cahill said, adding: “Twelve or bust.”

Cahill denied defense motions to move the case to another venue or delay the proceedings. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, cited the potential impact of the settlement news on the jury pool.

Earlier this month, the city of Minneapolis will pay a record $27 million to Floyd’s family to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit related to his death.

“This historic agreement — the largest pretrial settlement in a police civil rights wrongful death case in U.S. history — makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020,” attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference with members of Floyd’s family. “That George Floyd’s life matters, and by extension, Black lives matter.”

Cahill denied Nelson’s request.

“I do not think that that would give the defendant any kind of a fair trial beyond what we are doing here today,” said Cahill. “I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.”

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