12th juror seated in Chauvin trial, judge to rule on defense motions Friday

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Attorneys involved in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin seated three more jurors Thursday as both sides inch closer to forming a full jury. 

The panel is up to 12 members, with two alternates still needed. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black man who was declared dead after Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death, captured on bystander video, set off weeks of sometimes-violent protests across the country and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.

Three other former officers face an August trial in Floyd’s death on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

In this screengrab from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, introduce themselves to jurors as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over jury selection in the trial of Chauvin on Wednesday. On Thursday, a 12th juror was seated. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

The newest jurors include a White registered nurse in her 50s who assured the court that she wouldn’t draw on her medical knowledge during the trial, and a Black woman in her 60s who said she didn’t watch the entire bystander video of Floyd’s arrest and didn’t know enough to form a firm opinion of Chauvin or Floyd.

The 12th juror is a woman who works in commercial real insurance.

Earlier, prosecutors and defense lawyers clashed over whether a forensic psychiatrist should be allowed to testify about Floyd’s behavior as officers attempted to put him in a squad car. 

Prosecutors want to show that Floyd might have been unable to comply with the officers’ orders and wasn’t actually resisting arrest — something the forensic psychiatrist said he was certain that Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson intended to do.

“The defense is doing a full-on trial of George Floyd, who is not on trial, but that is what they’re doing,” said prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, adding that the defense also planned to make arguments about Floyd’s drug use.


Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said he’ll rule on the forensic psychiatrist’s testimony on Friday, when he will also rule on defense requests to admit Floyd’s 2019 drug arrest and motions to delay or move the trial. 

The jury now consists of five are men and seven are women. According to the court, five are white, two are multiracial and four are Black. The race of the 12th juror was not immediately disclosed. Their ages range from 20s to 60s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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