Two of the jurors who were selected to serve on the jury for the Derek Chauvin trial have been dismissed following concerns their judgment would be affected by the $27 million settlement reached in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by George Floyd’s family.
On Wednesday (March 17), per the request of Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, Judge Peter Cahill re-examined the first seven jurors who were seated in the high profile case. He specifically questioned the individuals about their knowledge of the settlement reached with Floyd’s family and its potential effects on their ability to be unbiased.
“I think it will be hard to be impartial,” said the first dismissed juror, a white man his 30s.
The other person — a Hispanic man in his 20s — confessed, “That sticker price obviously shocked me.” He was let go after he expressed uncertainty about his ability to serve without bias.
Of the four remaining jurors, two said they had not heard of the settlement; the other three are aware of the deal but said they are capable of staying neutral as they serve in the forthcoming trial.
The news comes after Nelson cited his concerns about the publicity and the timing of the settlement. He said the announcement was “incredibly prejudicial” and called for the jurors to be interrogated a second time to ensure that they are fit to make “fair” decisions in the case.
Nelson also asked for the trial to be delayed or moved to another city; the judge is expected to rule on those motions this week.
Chauvin was arraigned on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and a reinstated charge of third-degree murder. Nine of the fourteen required jurors had been selected for his trial, which was set to begin on March 29. The two dismissals, however, could potentially push back the start date.