One of the 12 jurors who convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd broke his silence this week, expressing his desire to “help push for change.”
What did the juror say?
Brandon Mitchell, a 31-year-old high school basketball coach, told the Wall Street Journal he did not want to remain anonymous because “staying anonymous wouldn’t help push for change.”
In fact, Mitchell said he wants to change the narrative surrounding police interactions.
From the Journal:
Mr. Mitchell said he was pulled over for no reason by Minneapolis police dozens of times in his early 20s, usually driving his mother’s aging Chrysler Sebring. He said he has always told his players to follow the checklist his mother gave him during these encounters. Take your hat off; announce what you’re doing; be polite; do what you’re told.
But serving on the jury has made him see how wrong it is that a person should be so afraid that a police officer could do them harm that they needed to change their behavior.
“That’s also part of the reason why I’m speaking up now because that is a narrative that is horrible,” Mitchell said. “So somebody follows directions or not, they don’t deserve to die. That’s completely ridiculous.”
Mitchell also revealed he related to Floyd.
“I just related to it too much,” he said. “Being big, you know, former athlete and all these things—it just, it really just hit home… It just felt like something that easily could have been me or anybody else that I know.”
What about deliberations?
Interestingly, Mitchell revealed there was a single holdout during jury deliberations. However, the holdout eventually came around on each of the criminal charges after the other jurors explained why they believed Chauvin was guilty.
Still, Mitchell told the Journal the impact of their decision was not one he took lightly, expressing compassion for Chauvin. Mitchell said he “almost broke down” when he saw Chauvin being taken into police custody.
“He’s a human too,” Mitchell said. “We decided his life. That’s tough. That’s tough to deal with. Even though it’s the right decision, it’s still tough.”
Chauvin will be sentenced on June 25. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, according to CNN.