Jury selection is wrapping up in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. On Monday afternoon the court confirmed a 14th juror – a White woman in her 20s. Judge Cahill says he wants to find at least one more alternate for the trial before wrapping up the selection process.
Currently eight of the jurors are White, two are Black, two are African immigrants, and two are of mixed-race.
Alex Reyes Schroeder, a Twin Cities resident, has been following the trial closely. She says she’s hopeful about the amount of diversity on the jury.
“As of right now we are looking at a little less than 50 percent people of color and that is a lot more than we have in Hennepin County,” said Schroeder. “Hennepin County is about 74 percent white.”
Other residents – like community organizer Francisco Sanchez – feel the jury selection process is not equitable for people who speak English as a second language.
“The decision to not have interpreters during the trial of Derek Chauvin seems purposeful, “ said Sanchez. “Immigrant voices must be heard in this trial. Our accents don’t disqualify us from knowing the difference between right and wrong.”
Earlier this month Judge Cahill dismissed a Mexican woman from the jury because, he said, she was “not sophisticated.”
Once jury selection is complete, the court will adjourn until March 29. That’s when the prosecution and the defense will make their opening statements.
Georgia Fort reporting for the Racial Reckoning project