Two jurors seated in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing murder charges over his arrest of George Floyd, were dismissed on Wednesday after they said news of a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family meant they could no longer be impartial.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill had set aside three weeks for jury selection, beginning last week, and was back down to seven seated jurors after the two dismissals.
Mayor Jacob Frey joined some of Floyd’s relatives at a news conference on Friday to announce the city would pay them $27 million to settle their federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the city, one of the largest settlements of its kind.
One of the jurors selected last week told the judge on Wednesday morning that the settlement’s size shocked him and “kind of swayed me a little bit.”
“It kind of sent a message that the city of Minneapolis felt that something was wrong, and they wanted to make it right, to the tune of that dollar amount,” the juror, a white man in his 30s, told the court.
Cahill dismissed him and a Hispanic man in his 20s who expressed similar views. Some of the other seated jurors, who have been promised anonymity by the judge for the trial’s duration, said they had seen headlines about the settlement, but were able to assure the court it would not influence them.