Five jurors have been empaneled for the upcoming murder trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd — as defense lawyers struggle to find impartial citizens to weigh evidence in the high-profile case.
Chauvin’s lawyers have used five of their 15 allowed challenges to potential jurors through the first two days of jury selection.
Prosecutors have used three of their nine.
One dismissed juror even answered on a jury questionnaire that he had a “very negative” opinion of Chauvin.
“Sir, I don’t mean to challenge you,” Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson told the man. “Believe it or not, you’re not the only person in the world who has a negative impression of my client.”
So far, the two sides have selected three white men, one black man, and a woman of mixed race to sit on the 12-member panel.
The court is expected to also select four alternates for the trial, which is tentatively due to start no earlier than March 29.
Meanwhile, court officials said the Minnesota Supreme Court will not hear arguments on an additional third-degree murder charge that was dismissed against Chauvin last year.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill threw out the charge last year but prosecutors took the ruling to the Court of Appeals, who determined on Friday that the judge had erred in doing so.
Chauvin’s lawyers appealed to the higher court, who declined to take it on Wednesday.
Chauvin currently faces second-degree and manslaughter charges in Floyd’s May 25 death. Viral video of the incident shows the ex-cop pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes despite his pleas that he could not breathe.