Brandon Mitchell, a member of the jury that convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd last month, is under scrutiny for photos that surfaced of him that seem to contradict what Mitchell reported during jury selection for the trial.
Before being seated to serve on the jury, those called for duty completed a lengthy questionnaire that, among other things, asked respondents whether they had participated in demonstrations in response to George Floyd’s death.
One asked if “you, or someone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?” According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Mitchell answered “no.”
But recently—after Mitchell became the first juror to speak publicly with media outlets in the wake of the Chauvin verdict—a photo of Mitchell posted days after he attended an August 2020 “Get Your Knees Off Our Neck” protest in Washington, D.C. surfaced.
The trial in the murder of George Floyd is over, but questions are beginning to circulate about one of the jurors. https://t.co/4SRBermrIh
— CBS Local (@cbslocal) May 4, 2021
In the photo, Mitchell can be seen wearing a “Black Lives Matter” hat and a shirt with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s face and the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” title on it.
According to organizers at the National Action Network, the protest was “instigated from the protest movement that has risen up since the police killing of George Floyd, the ‘Get Off Our Necks’ Commitment March on Washington will be a day of action that will demonstrate our commitment to fighting for policing and criminal justice.” In addition, members of George Floyd’s family addressed the crowd that included Brandon Mitchell.
In media appearances since coming forward, Mitchell said he didn’t think any jurors felt any pressure to come to a guilty verdict during the trial while protests turned violent in the nearby suburb of Brooklyn Center and Democrats including Rep. Maxine Waters and President Joe Biden weighed in with their desired outcome.
A juror from the #DerekChauvinTrial is breaking his silence with an inside look at what unfolded in the jury room.
Brandon Mitchell, juror #52, joins us to discuss the deliberation process and reaching a guilty verdict. pic.twitter.com/LNV0l4xNds
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 28, 2021
The judge in the Chauvin trial remarked in the wake of Waters’ comments that they “may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
According to a legal expert interviewed by the Star Tribune about this latest revelation “If [Mitchell] specifically was asked, ‘Have you ever participated in a Black Lives Matter demonstration,’ and he answered, ‘No,’ to that, I think that would be an important appealable issue.” Another expert who spoke with the Washington Post suggests “Mitchell’s alleged denial that he was involved in any protests could prompt Judge Peter A. Cahill to bring Mitchell in for further questioning to assess whether he was untruthful, or worse, if he had an agenda or a predetermined verdict in mind.”
Author : Spencer Brown