Jury set for ex-cop’s trial in George Floyd death; starts March 29

The 15th and final member of the pool was chosen Tuesday, wrapping up a process that took more than two weeks.

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In this screen grab from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, and Nelson’s assistant Amy Voss, back, introduce themselves to potential jurors as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill Tuesday, March 23, 2021, presides over jury selection in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

In this screen grab from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, and Nelson’s assistant Amy Voss, back, introduce themselves to potential jurors as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill Tuesday, March 23, 2021, presides over jury selection in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

AP

MINNEAPOLIS — A jury has been seated for the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death, with opening statements set for March 29.

The 15th and final member of the pool was chosen Tuesday, wrapping up a process that took more than two weeks. There will be 12 jurors and two alternates, with the 15th person being dismissed when the trial begins if the rest of the jury remains intact.

Attorneys and the judge worked through more than 100 people, dismissing most because they acknowledged strong views about an incident that was captured on bystander video and shook the nation.

Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man who was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. Street protests in Minneapolis, some violent, spread across the U.S. and the world.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected requests to delay the trial or move it out of Minneapolis. He said publicity had reached every corner of Minnesota, and stood firm even after the city announced in the midst of jury selection that it would pay a $27 million settlement to Floyd’s family.

The announcement of the settlement briefly disrupted jury selection, with two jurors that had been seated dismissed after they said it had affected their impartiality. But five others that had been seated said either that they had avoided the settlement news or could set it aside, and selection continued until the jury was complete.

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