A juror in the Derek Chauvin trial may have jeopardized the guilty verdict by attending a rally last year and wearing a “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks/BLM” T-shirt, raising questions about whether he told the truth during jury selection.
Brandon Mitchell, known as Juror #52, told Minneapolis news outlets Monday that he attended the Aug. 28 march in Washington, D.C., featuring speeches by George Floyd’s siblings, while a photo circulating online shows him with two cousins wearing the T-shirt as well as a “Black Lives Matter” hat.
What may come back to haunt the prosecution is that Mr. Mitchell, 31, answered “no” when asked during jury selection if he had attended any protests for George Floyd.
“I think they asked if I attended any protests for George Floyd or anything for police brutality. My answer was no because I hadn’t,” Mr. Mitchell told WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. “This particular march was more so for voting, voter registration. Getting people out to get out and vote for the presidential election that was upcoming a couple months afterward … This was the only thing I attended.”
The march was held to commemorate the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but the National Action Network billed it as the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” and several members of the Floyd family spoke.
News photos from the event show demonstrators wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts and carrying BLM flags as well as signs with messages that included, “I Can’t Breathe,” which Floyd repeatedly told police before he died.
“The march that he went to, which was on August 28, 2020, was specifically about police brutality,” criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who was not associated with the case, told WCCO. “In fact, it was partly advertised as ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ and it had speakers with the Floyd family, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake.”