A juror who served on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is defending his decision to attend a racial justice rally in Washington, D.C., back in August, seemingly challenging his statements during the juror selection process.
Though the juror claims the demonstration had nothing to do with George Floyd, the rally in part focused on police brutality and featured remarks from members of the Floyd family.
As reported by The Daily Wire Monday, a Facebook post shows Brandon Mitchell, or juror #52, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt with a reference to Floyd on it. The photo was reportedly taken in D.C., where Mitchell attended a rally commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, and addressing other racial issues.
“I’d never been to D.C.,” Mitchell told the Star Tribune. “The opportunity to go to D.C., the opportunity to be around thousands and thousands of black people; I just thought it was a good opportunity to be a part of something.”
Mitchell confirmed that the social media post showing him in D.C. for the demonstration was, in fact, posted by his uncle. However, he bizarrely claimed that “he has no recollection of wearing or owning the shirt” he is wearing in the photo.
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 2, 2021
Mitchell also defended his attendance, emphasizing that the march was “100% not” a demonstration for Floyd. “It was directly related to MLK’s March on Washington from the ’60s … The date of the March on Washington is the date,” he said.
However, the Star Tribune noted that the demonstration in part “focused on police use of force.” Moreover, “Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and family members of others who have been shot by police addressed the crowd.”
The rally “served as a rallying point for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a federal police reform bill,” the report added.
On his juror questionnaire, Mitchell reportedly answered “no” when asked about past participation in demonstrations. Star Tribune reported:
The first question asked, “Did you, or someone close to you, participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death?”
The second asked, “Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?”Related: Report: Floyd Juror Wore BLM Shirt Referencing Floyd In July, Challenging What He Told Defense During Jury Selection
Moreover, when Mitchell was asked by Judge Peter Cahill on March 15, 2021, if he knew anything about the Chauvin/Floyd case, he said no, according to FOX 9 reporter Paul Blume.
“Judge Cahill asked Juror #52, whether he heard anything about the #GeorgeFloyd civil case,” Blume reported at the time. “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.”
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