MINNEAPOLIS, MN – According to the Washington Post, one of the jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial may have raised issues over his impartiality and possibly even jeopardized the former officer’s guilty verdict in the death of George Floyd after photos revealed he had attended a Black Lives Matter rally last year while wearing BLM clothing, which he reportedly neglected to disclose during jury selection.
Brandon Mitchell, 31, AKA Juror #52, revealed to the media on Monday that he had attended an August 28, 2020 march in Washington, D.C. that featured speeches given by family members of George Floyd after a photo of Mitchell circulated online wearing a “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks/BLM” t-shirt and “Black Lives Matter” baseball cap while attending the event.
Despite this, Mitchell reportedly had previously answered “no” to two jury selection questions that asked if he had attended any protests or rallies for George Floyd or against police brutality, which legal experts say may seriously damage his perceived impartiality as a juror and possibly even threaten the guilty verdict that was returned against Chauvin.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted April 20 of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges stemming from Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.
Mitchell has claimed that he was an unbiased juror, and said he only attended the march – which commemorated MLK’s 1963 “I have a dream” speech – to participate in a voter registration rally and not to protest against anything.
“It was huge to get people geared for voter turnout, so being a part of that, being able to attend, you know, the same location where Martin Luther King gave his speech was a historic moment,” he said. “Either way, I was going to D.C. for this event, even if George Floyd was still alive.”
Despite Mitchell’s denials of being biased, legal experts have noted that his allegedly incorrect questionnaire answers could lead to Chauvin’s attorney filing an appeal, in addition to the judge who presided over the case potentially calling Mitchell in for questioning.