Juror Dropped From Chauvin Trial After $27m Settlement
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge on Wednesday dismissed a juror who had been seated for the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death over fears that the juror had been tainted by the city’s announcement last week of a $27 million settlement to Floyd’s family.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill recalled seven jurors and was questioning each one, in turn, to find out what they knew about the settlement and whether it affected their ability to serve. Former officer Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had requested the recall.
The juror said he had heard about the settlement. “I think it will be hard to be impartial,” he said.
Nelson had called the timing of the announcement in the middle of jury selection “profoundly disturbing to the defense” and “not fair.” He has also requested a delay in the trial, which Cahill is considering.
Nine people had been selected for the jury, including seven before Friday’s settlement was announced.
Jury selection through Tuesday had been proceeding faster than expected. Cahill has set opening statements for March 29 at the earliest, but the dismissal of some of the jurors already seated risked imperiling that date.