Brandon Mitchell made it onto the Derek Chauvin jury by marking “no” when asked if he or anyone close to him had “participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality.”
A photo of Mitchell surfaced on Sunday wearing a “GET YOU YOU KNEE OFF OUR NECKS,” “BLM” shirt, and a ” Black Lives Matter” hat at a protest in Washington, DC protest against police brutality in August 2020.
Mitchell admitted on Monday that he wad attended the “March on Washington” while sparking with the Star Tribune (who buried the lead).
From The Star Tribune, “Chauvin juror defends participation in March On Washington after social media post surfaces”:
“I’d never been to [Washington] D.C.,” Mitchell said Monday of his reasons for attending the event. “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.”
[…] Mitchell said the social media post was made by his uncle, who is the father of one of the cousins pictured, and appears to be “a partial real post.” However, he said, he has no recollection of wearing or owning the shirt.
Mitchell said the event was commemorating the 57th anniversary of King’s famous speech, which advocated for civil and economic rights for Blacks, and is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The event was “100% not” a march for Floyd, Mitchell said, adding, “It was directly related to MLK’s March on Washington from the ’60s … The date of the March on Washington is the date.”
While speaking on stage during the March On Washington, however, Philonese Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, said it was a march for Floyd.
One of the main points of the March On Washington was to demand the Senate to pass the Geroge Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The Star Tribune continues:
The event had several components, including advocating for racial justice, increasing voter registration, pushing for a new version of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and urging participation in the 2020 census.
It also focused on police use of force. Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and family members of others who police have shot addressed the crowd. It served as a rallying point for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a federal police reform bill.
Mitchell said he answered “no” to two questions in the juror questionnaire sent out before jury selection that asked about participation in demonstrations.
The first question asked, “Did you, or someone close to you, participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death?”
The second asked, “Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?”
Mitchell said he was not concerned about backlash for his participation in the march, noting its historical significance beyond the Chauvin case.
“This was a big deal,” he said of the event. “It’s a national thing.”
Mitchell took issue with at least one news account of the picture that said he told the court that he had no knowledge of Chauvin’s case during jury selection.
“I think I was being extremely honest, for sure,” he said of the jury selection process. “I gave my views on everything — on the case, on Black Lives Matter.”
Nelson asked Mitchell several questions during jury selection, and Mitchell told him: He had watched clips of bystander video of the incident; he had talked about the case with his family, friends, and co-workers; he had wondered why three other officers at the scene didn’t stop Chauvin, and he had a “very favorable” opinion of Black Lives Matter.
Mitchell also told Nelson he knew some police officers at his gym who were “great guys” and that he felt neutral about Blue Lives Matter, a pro-police group. He said he could be neutral at trial.
Defense attorney Mike Padden, who is not involved in the case, said Mitchell should have divulged his participation and let attorneys and the judge decide whether it would unfairly influence him at trial.
“It’s disconcerting,” Padden said. “Maybe with that disclosure, Mr. Nelson keeps him on the jury, but I don’t think so.”
Lying on the questionnaire or during jury selection is a crime, noted the Star Tribune.
During an interview with Get Up! Mornings With Erica Campbell last week, Mitchell encouraged people to get on juries to “try to spark some change.”
“I mean, it’s important if we wanna see some change, we wanna see some things going different, we gotta into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change,” Mitchell said. “Jury duty is one of those things. Jury duty. Voting. All of those things we
As highlighted by The Gateway Pundit, Paul Blume, Minneapolis FOX 9, reported March that “judge Cahill asked Juror #52, whether he heard anything about the Geroge Floyd civil case. He said no. He explained hearing some basic info about trial dates, etc. from the news in recent months, but nothing to keep him from serving as impartial juror.”
Most of the jury’s four or so hours of deliberations were spent trying to instruct one juror who was having trouble understanding jury instructions, Mitchel told Good Morning American.
Mitchell felt like deliberations “should have been 20 minutes,” he said.
When asked about the importance of black men showing up for jury duty, Mitchell told GMA, “In order for, uh, change to happen, we got to get us to those type of avenues, get us to those rooms, we got to show up for jury duty, we have to vote.”
“Those are things that are important to the society as a whole, and if we want to, um, be viewed differently in society and start to see different results, we have to start to do those things, and we cannot avoid them,” Mitchell continued.
“We can’t put them on the back burner; we have to put them in the forefront, and jury duty is definitely one of those things, especially with, you know, the insane number of black men being incarcerated. So yeah, so we definitely have to get on, get on those on those panels and stuff like that.”