A juror who convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd has defended his attendance at a protest last year, amid speculation it could give the former officer grounds to appeal against his conviction.
photo of Brandon Mitchell wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt that read “get your knee off our necks” – a reference to Mr Floyd’s death – at an event in Washington last year recirculated online in recent days.
The rally to commemorate the 1963 march on Washington when Martin Luther King Jr delivered his seminal “I have a dream” speech was attended by Mr Floyd’s family.
Mr Mitchell, who is black, was one of 12 jurors to convict Mr Chauvin of murder and manslaughter after kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. The 31-year-old said he responded “no” to two questions about attending demonstrations during jury selection process.
Legal experts have suggested that Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lawyer, may use the matter as one of several bases for an appeal.
Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, said the photo was “evidence that Chauvin can point to in order to establish that his right to an impartial jury was denied”.
Mr Mitchell, the first juror to publicly identify himself, acknowledged attending the rally in Washington last August but said he considered it to be an event commemorating King’s speech and “100pc not” a march for Mr Floyd.
Mr Mitchell also said he had no recollection of owning or wearing the “get your knee off our necks” T-shirt. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2021)
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