Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin (right) and his lawyer Eric Nelson (left) on March 11.
The defense of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on trial for the murder of George Floyd, asked the judge to sequester the jury Monday.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, tried to get Judge Peter Cahill to immediately sequester the jury in the wake of the Brooklyn Center police shooting on Sunday, which sparked protests and looting in the suburb and Twin Cities.
Nelson said this high-profile, emotional case is putting a lot of pressure on jurors to find Chauvin guilty. During jury selection, many prospective jurors expressed concern about the ramifications of the verdict, he noted, and the Brooklyn Center incident highlights the potential consequences of the verdict.
At a minimum, he argued, the judge should question the jurors about whether they heard about the police shooting and whether it would influence their decision-making.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher opposed Nelson’s motion, saying world events are going to happen, and the jurors already said during voir dire they could render a verdict without regard to the possible ramifications.
Cahill denied the motion, saying this is a different case, and sequestering the jury now would only aggravate the situation. The jurors were all concerned about their safety due to last year’s unrest, he said, so that hasn’t changed.
He said the jurors would be sequestered once closing arguments are made, which is expected to happen Monday, April 19.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.