Seven of the jurors from the Derek Chauvin trial sat down Thursday for an exclusive interview on Don Lemon Tonight to speak publicly about the trial for the first time. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty last April on three counts related to the killing of George Floyd: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. While the jurors all pretty much agreed on a guilty verdict for two of the charges, the third-degree murder took extra deliberation.
Juror Nicole Deters explained that they took a vote, in the beginning, to see what everyone was thinking, and four or five people voted not guilty or undecided. After some discussion, there was one moment that shifted people’s opinions. Deters explained: “At some point, I think it was Jodi [Doud], I’m pretty sure it was Jodi said, ‘Wait a minute, does the intended act of harm have to be the death of George Floyd, or can it be him not providing the life support?’ And it was like all of a sudden the light bulbs just went on for those people that I think were undecided or on the not guilty side.”
George Floyd was in their custody. He was never in their care.
Juror, Sherri Belton Hardeman
Jodi Doud went on to describe her thought process that eventually changed people’s minds. “I brought up the fact that this is not what he did but more or less what he didn’t do. He did not provide lifesaving measures for George Floyd when he knew that the guy was in pain or needed medical attention,” she said.
Chauvin became the first white Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty for murdering a Black man. After his guilty verdict, Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for his crime. For juror Sherri Belton Hardeman, it was the Minneapolis Police Department’s own motto that stuck in her head during the deliberations. “What I thought about is something that was said during the trial, and that is, Minneapolis Police Department has a motto, and if I’m understanding it correctly, their motto is ‘in our custody, in our care,'” said Hardeman. “George Floyd was in their custody. He was never in their care. And that for me just — it just hit hard. I don’t feel like they ever cared for him.”
Don Lemon Tonight airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on CNN.
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