Lisa Christensen, a woman who was an alternate juror for the jury which found ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the world-famous Geroge Floyd death trial, recently gave an interview sharing her experiences.
In this interview, Christensen recalled her hesitancy in being a juror because she was “concerned about people” coming to her house if they were “not happy” with the eventual verdict of the trial. Alternate jurors are selected in some cases to take the place of jurors who may become ill during the trial and therefore hear the evidence the same way as jurors do.
When asked by the interviewer if she wanted to be a juror, Christensen replied, “I had mixed feelings. There was a question on the questionnaire about it and I put I did not know. The reason, at that time, was I did not know what the outcome was going to be, so I felt like either way you are going to disappoint one group or the other. I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.”
However, Christensen did say that she would adjudge Derek Chauvin to be guilty if she had a vote.
“I would have voted guilty. However, at the end the judge did read us the rules for deliberation, but it was quick, and I could not absorb it. I would have said guilty on some level. After I was excused, I did not look at the jury instructions any longer. I do not know how hard that process was, but I feel like Chauvin is responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death.” said Christensen.
When asked about her impression of Derek Chauvin, Christensen replied, “From where I was sitting, I could look up, and lock eyes with him. It made me feel a little uncomfortable. He had nowhere to look either, so it was just kind of weird.”
In the run-up to jury deliberations in the Geroge Floyd trial, Maxine Waters, a senior Democrat leader from California went to Minnesota and spoke to a group of protestors saying, “We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And we’re looking to see if all of this [inaudible] that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd.
“And we’ve got to get more active,” Waters continued. “[We’ve] got to get more confrontational. … We’ve got to make sure that they know we mean business.”
These comments kicked up a huge storm, with Chauvin’s defense attorney petitioning the judge to declare a mistrial and set Chauvin free based on the influence such comments would have on the jury, pressuring them to convict. The request was swiftly denied, but Judge Peter Cahill did not so casually dismiss its compelling logic. “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” the judge said.