Warning: This is going to erk you. It did me. Two legal analysts debated the potential bias of one juror who voted to convict officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. One analyst, Paul Callan,seemed to use an ounce of logic. While the other, Joey Jackson, bent over backward to avoid the truth- that was literally staring them in the face.
The entire exchange happened on CNN with John Berman playing mediator following Chauvin’s lawyers’ motion for a retrial. The two debated if there were grounds to retry the case and debated juror bias. Meanwhile, the two stood in front of a photo of a juror wearing BlackLivesMatter hate and a “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” t-shirt. The photo was reportedly taken last August at a BLM rally but the juror claimed to not remember wearing the shirt and added that he doesn’t own a shirt like it.
Callan pointed out that the shirt proves the juror had a bias and at the very least brings in doubt against his verdict.
“We live in the United States of America, Jackson argued. “We have this thing called the First Amendment, freedom of speech. You can wear what you want, say what you want, do what you want.”
Callan then noted that it would all depend on if the juror disclosed his biases and participation in rallies prior to the trial. JAckson still managed to argue against logic.
“So the fact is you ask me the right questions, I will give you the right answers. He gave in my view the answers that were proper, and that is that, you know what? I didn’t participate in police brutality demonstrations.”
Callan snapped back, “Joey, one question for you. If that says knee off our necks. The issue in the case before the jury was a cop putting his knee on somebody’s neck and killing them as a result. That looks to me like it’s an exact reference to the fact pattern in the Floyd case.”
“Now, the question that this juror was asked during jury selection was, have you ever participated in a demonstration against police brutality? That [pointing at the photo of Mitchell in hat and t-shirt] certainly looks like participation in a demonstration against police brutality, Callen added”
Jackson doubled back some but pushed through logic, yet again. “So, I’m not suggesting there’s not an argument here.” He added, “But what I’m suggesting is that the March on Washington is way above the issue, exclusively, of police brutality. It is an important issue in this country. But there are other important issues that relate to the African-American community that are not limited that are not limited to police brutality.”
Jackson repeated his stance that the juror answered the specific questions asked of him and added that the verdict is on ‘solid ground’.
Asked by Nelson whether he recalled writing that, Mitchell said no, but that he stood by it. Mitchelle also reportedly denied owning the shirt and says he does not remember wearing it, according to NBC.
The Juror, Brandon Mitchell, told attorney Eric Nelson that when he learned that he was a potential juror in Chauvin’s case, he was “surprised” and “shocked.” Mitchell wrote on his questionnaire that he had a neutral opinion of Chauvin and Floyd.
With respect to Chauvin, he wrote: “I do not believe the defendant set out to murder anyone. However, based on the video, I’m not sure about what the reasoning could be.”