Legal experts say there's a "possible bias" in Derek Chauvin's conviction last month following new discovery on one of the jurors while the lawyer has requested for a new trial last Tuesday due to the judge's abuse of authority, among other reasons.
The Blaze reported that information on Juror #52, Brandon Mitchell, purported him to be biased based on a photo of him posted in social media last August 2020 wearing a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. t-shirt with reference to George Floyd's death, "Get your knee off our necks," and Black Lives Matter, "BLM" matched with a BLM baseball cap.
In addition, his knowledge about the case was not extensive except that it is a high-profile one, citing a series of tweets made by Fox reporter Paul Blume on March 15 while covering the resumption of the jury selection.
"Judge Cahill asked Juror #52, whether he heard anything about the #GeorgeFloyd civil case. He says, no. He explained hearing some basic info about trial dates, etc from the news in recent months, but nothing that would keep him from serving as impartial juror," Blume said in Twitter.
"Juror #52 wrote in his jury questionnaire that he wondered why other police officers at the scene did not intervene in #GeorgeFloyd deadly arrest," he added in a next tweet. "He recognizes the historic nature of the case. Defense says he is an acceptable juror. So state's turn to question."
Jury consultant Alan Tuerkheimer who stated in a Washington Post interview that Chauvin's attorneys will use this information about Mitchell for an appeal.
Tuerkheimer stressed that if Mitchell provided false information during the jury selection such as participation in demonstrations "against police brutality" or was close with anyone who did, this would then be an avenue to "reconsider the case." The Star-Tribune reported Mitchell responded "no" in the juror questionnaire regarding such involvement.
Besides Tuerkheimer, The Blaze cited civil rights attorney Brian Dunn who seconded on the importance of Mitchell providing true information during his selection, which "go beyond mere wearing of the shirt" since this "lack of candor violated" Chauvin's "right to a fair trial".
As per The Blaze, Mitchell, who is a basketball coach for high school students, explained that the photo was taken during the national commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
"I'd never been to D.C. The opportunity to go to D.C., the opportunity to be around thousands and thousands of Black people; I just thought it was a good opportunity to be a part of something," Mitchell clarified.
"It was directly related to MLK's March on Washington from the '60s," he added, "It was literally called the anniversary of the March on Washington."
In addition to the question on Mitchell's credibility, The Blaze also reported that Chauvin's legal counsel Eric Nelson filed for a new trial on the account that Judge Peter Cahill denied the request for a change of venue, for an earlier request for a new trial since the "publicity during the proceedings threaten the fairness of the trial," and for "failing to sequester the jury in the high-profile case."
Nelson also raised Cahill's failure to call the hearing to order "to impeach the verdict" since "the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated race-based pressure during the proceedings, and /or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations, in violation of Mr. Chauvin's constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial."
Nelson also cited the effect of California Representative Maxine Water's comments on the trial that Cahill acknowledge but did not do anything about.
Chauvin, who was declared guilty of George Floyd's murder last month, was charged with felony murder, second degree manslaughter, and culpable negligence.