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Derek Chauvin juror LIED about protest: Cop’s hope of appeal boosted after picture emerges of juror at BLM rally wearing ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ T-shirt despite telling court he’d never been on a march

  • Brandon Mitchell was one of 12 jurors who convicted Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin of  the second-degree murder of George Floyd last month
  • Mitchell, a 31-year-old black man, was photographed on social media attending an August 28 protest in Washington, DC at which Floyd’s relatives spoke
  • Mitchell is seen in the photograph wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr and the words ‘GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS’ and ‘BLM’ 
  • He is also wearing a baseball cap embossed with ‘Black Lives Matter’
  • Mitchell acknowledged being at the event and that his uncle posted the photo, but claims he doesn’t recall wearing or owning the shirt or cap 
  • Mitchell said he answered ‘no’ to two questions about demonstrations on the questionnaire sent out before jury selection 
  • Legal experts say the revelation will likely be brought up on appeal by Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, who will argue his client was denied impartial jury 

Questions have been raised about the impartiality of one of the 12 jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin of murder after it was revealed he attended a rally last summer where George Floyd’s relatives addressed the crowd.

A photo, posted on social media, shows Brandon Mitchell attending an August 28 event in Washington, DC, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech during the 1963 March on Washington.  

It shows Mitchell, a high school basketball coach, standing with two other men and wearing a T-shirt with a picture of King and the words, ‘GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS’ and ‘BLM’. He is also wearing a baseball cap printed with Black Lives Matter. 

Mitchell has admitted the photo is of him from that date, but defended attending the rally, claiming it was not explicitly a protest against police or a commemoration for George Floyd. 

That is despite the fact that Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and relatives of other African Americans who have been shot by police addressed the crowd that day. 

Mitchell said he answered ‘no’ to two questions about demonstrations on the questionnaire sent out before jury selection. 

Experts say the revelation could be grounds for the cop’s appeal. 

A photo, posted on social media, shows Brandon Mitchell, who is black, attending the August 28 event to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech during the 1963 March on Washington. It shows Mitchell (far right) standing with two cousins and wearing a T-shirt with a picture of King and the words, ‘GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS’ and ‘BLM’

In this April 28, 2021 file photo, Brandon Mitchell, a juror in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, poses for a picture, in Minneapolis. Mitchell defended his participation in protest in Washington last summer in the wake of online speculation about his motives for serving on the jury

In this April 28, 2021 file photo, Brandon Mitchell, a juror in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, poses for a picture, in Minneapolis. Mitchell defended his participation in protest in Washington last summer in the wake of online speculation about his motives for serving on the jury

Mitchell was one of 12 jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin (above) of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter on April 20

Mitchell was one of 12 jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin (above) of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter on April 20

Mitchell was one of 12 jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin (above) of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter on April 20

Pictured: Derek Chauvin during the incident that ended George Floyd's life

Pictured: Derek Chauvin during the incident that ended George Floyd’s life

Mitchell and Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, have not returned messages from DailyMail.com seeking comment. 

Mitchell, 31, acknowledged being at the event and that his uncle posted the photo, but said he doesn’t recall wearing or owning the shirt.

NEWS SITES WHICH DIDN’T COVER JUROR’S ATTENDANCE AT PROTEST 

Among the sites which did not report on the news Brandon Mitchell had failed to reveal he had attended a protest before jury selection, are:

  • ABC News
  • New York Daily News
  • CNN
  • The New York Times 
  • NBC News 

 

 

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Mitchell was one of 12 jurors who convicted Chauvin of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Mitchell, the first juror to go public, spoke to several media outlets last week, including The Associated Press. 

‘I’d never been to DC,’ Mitchell said of his reasons for attending the event. 

‘The opportunity to go to DC, 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.’

Mike Brandt, a Minneapolis defense attorney not involved in the case, told the AP the revelation alone wasn’t nearly enough to overturn Chauvin’s conviction, but it could be combined with other issues – the announcement of a massive civil settlement to Floyd’s family during jury selection, the shooting of Daunte Wright, the judge’s refusal to move the trial – in an appeal to say Chauvin was denied a fair trial.

Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, told the AP that the photo of Mitchell was ‘evidence that Chauvin can point to in order to establish that his right to an impartial jury was denied.’

Mitchell attended an August 28 rally in Washington, DC which was officially known as 'Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.' On his jury questionnaire, Mitchell wrote 'No' when asked if he attended an anti-police brutality rally

Mitchell attended an August 28 rally in Washington, DC which was officially known as ‘Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.’ On his jury questionnaire, Mitchell wrote ‘No’ when asked if he attended an anti-police brutality rally

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, was one of the speakers at the rally

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, was one of the speakers at the rally

He added: ‘Speaking frankly, Chauvin did not have a fully impartial jury in the sense we usually give criminal defendants. That wasn’t the fault of the judge or the prosecutors, it was simply a function of the incredible publicity and public pressure’ surrounding the trial. 

Mitchell said he answered ‘no’ to two questions about 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 told Nelson during jury selection that he had a ‘very favorable’ opinion of Black Lives Matter, that he knew some police officers at his gym who are ‘great guys,’ and that he felt neutral about Blue Lives Matter, a pro-police group. 

Grounds for Chauvin’s appeal: Maxine Waters, a $27million settlement and a juror’s BLM protest

A jury took just ten and a half hours to find former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin unanimously guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd.

But with Chauvin, 45, almost certain to appeal, the politically explosive case could be far from over. With nine out of every ten appeals refused by US courts, defense attorney Eric Nelson will face an uphill task.

But here, DailyMail.com analyzes the key issues the disgraced ex-cop and his legal team will seize upon as grounds for a re-trial.

TOO CLOSE TO HOME

George Floyd’s shocking death under the knee of Derek Chauvin triggered months of protests across the globe.

But nowhere was the pain and anguish felt more acutely than in his native Minneapolis where crowds greeted today’s verdict with roars of approval and tears of joy.

The ex-cop’s legal team had argued there was no way their client could get a fair trial in Hennepin County but District Judge Peter Cahill refused to move it to another city.

Cahill said the chaos and anger surrounding Chauvin would follow the defendant wherever he went.

A jury took just ten and a half hours to find former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (right) unanimously guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd

A jury took just ten and a half hours to find former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (right) unanimously guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd

‘As far as change of venue, I do not think that that would give the defendant any kind of a fair trial beyond what we are doing here today,’ Cahill said last month.

‘I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to an extreme amount of publicity in this case.’

Likewise, Cahill refused to delay proceedings given how unlikely anyone could forget the names of those involved or harrowing video of Floyd’s last moments.

‘Unfortunately, I think the pretrial publicity, in this case, will continue no matter how long we continue it,’ Cahill said.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson will nonetheless argue that nobody can receive a fair trial under these circumstances.

ANOTHER SHOOTING, FRESH OUTRAGE

Judge Cahill refused repeated defense requests to sequester the jury during the three-week trial to shield them from any mention of the case or related news.

But nobody could have anticipated what happened next: a horrifying police shooting of an unarmed black motorist just ten miles from the spot where Floyd choked to death.

The killing of Daunte Wright, 20, by a police officer, who claims she mistook her firearm for a taser when she blasted him at close range, triggered a fresh wave of protests and violence.

Daunte Wright

Brooklyn Center Officer Kimberly Potter

The killing of Daunte Wright (left), 20, by a police officer (right), who claims she mistook her firearm for a taser when she blasted him at close range, triggered a fresh wave of protests and violence. The trial judge refused repeated defense requests to sequester the jury 

There seems little doubt that jurors heard about it. One lives in Brooklyn Park, the neighborhood where the disturbing incident unfolded on April 11. Another has relatives living there.

Nelson told the court he was worried fresh civil unrest and the specter of a defenseless young black male losing his life in what appeared a routine traffic stop could evoke painful memories for jurors.

He told the court: ‘I understand it does not involve these same parties. But he problem is, the emotional response that case creates, sets the stage for a jury to say, “I’m not going to vote not guilty, because I’m concerned about the outcome”’.

Nelson implored the judge, once again, to sequester the jury and asked him to remind them at the beginning and end of each day to ignore the media.

Cahill decided ultimately that sequestering the jury could bring even more attention to the Brooklyn Center tragedy.

He told the court: ‘I think sequestration will only aggravate that. “Oh I heard about the civil unrest, and now the judge is putting us in sequestration, there must be a greater threat to our security.”

‘I think the better way is to continue with the trial as we’ve been going.’

ENTER MAXINE WATERS

In the 11 months since he died face down in the street, handcuffed, gasping for air and begging for mercy, George’s Floyd’s family have not wavered in their calls for restraint, calm and peaceful protest.

But it seemed firebrand California Rep Maxine Waters had not read the script when she flew into Minneapolis on the eve of jury deliberations to rally protestors and demand justice.

‘We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational,’ she urged crowds Sunday night.

As jurors began deliberating the very next day Republicans condemned the veteran congresswoman’s call to arms as incitement to riot and jury tampering.

California Rep Maxine Waters (pictured) flew into Minneapolis on the eve of jury deliberations to rally protestors and demand justice. ‘We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational,’ she urged crowds over the weekend

California Rep Maxine Waters (pictured) flew into Minneapolis on the eve of jury deliberations to rally protestors and demand justice. ‘We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational,’ she urged crowds over the weekend

Judge Cahill was equally unimpressed, describing Waters’ remarks as ‘abhorrent.’

He denied Chauvin a retrial but told his attorney: ‘I grant you congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.’

Nelson will argue that he repeatedly asked for the jury to be sequestered and that, had the judge agreed, they would never have been exposed to Waters’ incendiary demands.

He will also point out they could have seen reports of how vandals dumped a severed pig’s head outside a Californian house, mistakenly believing it was the home of the defense’s use of force expert, Barry Brodd.

Waters was one of numerous politicians, including President Joe Biden, who waded into the explosive trial even as jurors deliberated.

Hours before the verdict Biden told reporters he was ‘praying’ for the right verdict. His words would not have reached jurors because they were finally sequestered on Monday.

However Nelson will argue the judge’s instructions – he simply told jurors towards the end of the trial, ‘Don’t watch the news’ – were completely inadequate.

PAY OFF THREATENS CASE

The Floyds received the justice they craved. They will also receive a massive amount of money.

Five days after jury selection began the City of Minneapolis made the extraordinary decision to announce to the world that they had approved a $27million settlement in the civil case brought by the family.

Nelson immediately asked for the trial to be moved and postponed but his request fell on deaf ears.

Instead, it was agreed that the judge would re-voire dire the jurors already seated.

Two were dismissed as a result, having admitted that they had heard about the settlement and it left them unable to be impartial.

The timing of the announcement clearly enraged Judge Cahill, prompting an outburst from the bench in which he ordered both the state and defense, ‘Just stop talking about it!’

JUROR LIES ABOUT PROTEST

Juror Brandon Mitchell attended an August 28 event to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

It shows Mitchell, a high school basketball coach, standing with two other men and wearing a T-shirt with a picture of King and the words, ‘GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS’ and ‘BLM’. He is also wearing a baseball cap printed with Black Lives Matter. 

Mitchell said he answered ‘no’ to two questions about demonstrations on the questionnaire sent out before jury selection.

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?’

Mike Brandt, a Minneapolis defense attorney not involved in the case, said the revelation alone wasn’t nearly enough to overturn Chauvin’s conviction, but it could be combined with other issues in an appeal to say Chauvin was denied a fair trial.

Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, said the photo of Mitchell was ‘evidence that Chauvin can point to in order to establish that his right to an impartial jury was denied.’

 

 

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He also said he had watched clips of bystander video of Floyd being pinned and had wondered why three other officers at the scene didn´t intervene.

He said he could be neutral at trial.

Mitchell told the Star Tribune that last summer’s protest was ‘100 per cent not’ a march for Floyd.

‘It was directly related to MLK’s March on Washington from the ’60s … The date of the March on Washington is the date … It was literally called the anniversary of the March on Washington,’ he said.

He said if the jury selection process: ‘I think I was being extremely honest, for sure. I gave my views on everything — on the case, on Black Lives Matter.’

FULL TEXT OF THE JUROR QUESTIONNAIRE IN DEREK CHAUVIN MURDER TRIAL

Each potential juror is required to fill out a 16-page questionnaire about the case. the questionnaire requires potential jurors to answer questions that include: ‘How many times did you see the video of George Floyd’s death?’; ‘Did you participate in marches against police brutality and, if so, did you carry a sign?’; ‘What are your views of the group Blue Lives Matter (the movement supporting police) – favorable or unfavorable?’; ‘Do you believe our criminal justice system works?’

The answer that potential jurors give will impact whether the defense or the prosecution deems them fit to sit on the jury.

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