Wyatte Grantham-Philips, USA Today, December 23, 2020
Prospective jurors in the George Floyd trial are being asked about their views on Black Lives Matter, policing and criminal justice as they’re being considered for the upcoming criminal trial in Minnesota District Court.
The 16-page document also asks potential jurors about this year’s protests that demanded justice in wake of killings of Black Americans — including Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin faces second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter charges. Three officers who were also present when Floyd died in May — J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane — are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
In Tuesday’s jury questionnaire, one question asks if the potential juror participated in marches or demonstrations against police brutality after Floyd’s death: “If you participated, did you carry a sign? What did it say?”
Another one reads: “Do you believe your community has been negatively or positively affected by any of the protests that have taken place in the Twin-Cities area since George Floyd’s death?”
Sliding scales between “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree” are also provided — on statements such as “Discrimination is not as bad as the media makes it out to be,” “Blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system” and “I support defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.”