Attorneys in Chauvin case begin process to pick 12 jurors, alternates

Judge Cahill also expected to rule on third-degree murder charge
Government Center
Hennepin County Government Center Photo credit Entercom

Under heavy security that includes tall fences, razor wire, and uniformed officers, jury selection for the manslaughter and murder trial of Derek Chauvin is expected to get underway Monday morning.

Outside the fortified Hennepin County Government Center in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, protests will be held in areas adjacent to the 24-story building.

The first demonstration is set to start Monday before court proceedings begin.

Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who was fired after cellphone video showed him pressing his knee on the neck of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old man, who was being detained for possibly passing counterfeit money, died at the scene near the intersection of Chicago Avenue and 38th Street in south Minneapolis, sparking outrage that led to demonstrations and violence nationwide and around the world.

Before attorneys for both sides begin questioning potential jurors, Hennepin County judge Peter Cahill is expected to rule on last week's decision by the state court of appears that he should not have eliminated a third-degree murder charge from the case.

That's expected to happen between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., which has been set aside by the court to act on motions.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter, and has been in custody since the week of Floyd's death last May 25.

Attorneys are looking to seat 12 jurors and two alternates, and the pool of Hennepin County residents have already filled out a lengthy questionnaire.

"The attorneys sit down and analyze each one of those questions," said Twin Cities attorney F. Clayton Tyler, who's not associated with the case.

"They do it one at a time, so that they don't prejudice others when they give answers to the questions."

Tyler appeared on WCCO radio with Jeralyn Steele on Sunday night.

"There are some people who want to get on this case, and there are some people that are biased that want to get on this case," Tyler said. "That's going to end up with a situation that's not the best for the system."

Demonstrations calling for justice and police reform have already begun around the Twin Cities.

Dozens gathered in front of the Governor's residence in St. Paul on Saturday, while a much larger group staged an "I can't breathe" silent march to the government center Sunday afternoon.

Floyd told officers "I can't breathe" more than 20 times while he was pinned to the pavement in front of Cup Foods, which has turned into a memorial for him.

WCCO radio is providing complete and comprehensive coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial on the air and all digital properties.