A juror in the State v. Chauvin trial has faced increased scrutiny after he was spotted attending a protest in Washington, D.C. last summer. A photo of the juror, Brandon Mitchell, shows him wearing a t-shirt with Martin Luther King Jr. on it as he attends a protest celebrating the 57th anniversary of the "March On Washington." As his photo has circulated throughout social media, Mitchell has opted to get ahead of the news story.
"I'd never been to [Washington] D.C.," Mitchell told the Minnesota 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."
In addition to traveling to Washington, D.C. for the first time, Mitchell says that he was inspired to make the trip because the event worked to get more people registered to vote. He also stated that he would have gone to the protest even if George Floyd was not murdered two months prior.
“It was huge to get people geared for voter turnout, so being a part of that, being able to attend, you know, the same location where Martin Luther King gave his speech was a historic moment,” Mitchell told WCCO.
“Either way, I was going to D.C. for this event, even if George Floyd was still alive.”
Despite Mitchell's explanation for attending the protest, Derek Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, is seemingly pushing for a new trial. Nelson has filed paperwork in Hennepin County claiming that Chauvin could not receive a fair trial due to "pervasive” and “prejudicial” publicity surrounding the case.
“The court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings,” Nelson wrote.
“As well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors.”
Hennepin County officials have not yet responded to these most recent allegations from Nelson.
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