The defense attorney for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed a motion requesting that the guilty verdicts against his client be thrown out and is asking for a new trial, citing several reasons including "jury misconduct".
Mike Brandt, a Minneapolis defense attorney not involved in the case, told the AP the revelation alone wasn't almost enough to overturn Chauvin's conviction, but it could be combined with other issues - the announcement of a massive civil settlement to Floyd's family during jury selection, the shooting of Daunte Wright, the judge's refusal to move the trial - in an appeal to say Chauvin was denied a fair trial.
One of the 12 jurors who deliberated at the trial, Brandon Mitchell, a 31-year-old high school basketball coach who has identified himself, told news outlets in Minneapolis that on August 28 last year, he attended a march in Washington where Floyd's siblings were present. The rally saw relatives of Floyd and Jacob Blake, who was shot by a police officer when resisting arrest.
In a Facebook post dated August 31, 2020, Mitchell was pictured wearing a shirt with an image of Martin Luther King along with the words, "Get your knee off our necks" and "BLM", which is short for Black Loves Matter.
According to WCCO, Mitchell wrote that he did not attend any protests over police brutality in his questionnaire.
Mitchell is one of only two jurors who have publicly identified themselves.
Video footage showed Chauvin kneeling over the 46-year-old African-American man's neck for more than nine minutes.
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Legal questions in the Derek Chauvin trial have been raised after a controversial photo of one of its jurors emerged online. "Either way, I was going to D.C. for this event, even if George Floyd was still alive".
"Just another piece of the appeal process that the officer will win and get a new trial", tweeted a fourth user.
On April 20, a 12-member jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty on all three counts he faced after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials and medical experts.
The juror insisted the DC march had nothing to do with Floyd.
"After we deliberated and we had to do some explaining to a few people, breaking it down a little bit further, everybody was on the same page", Mitchell said on the "Get Up!"
"It was directly related to MLK's March on Washington from the '60s ..."
"Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone else close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?" asked another. "The date of the March on Washington is the date", he told the newspaper.
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