Connect with us

Breaking News

Juror’s ‘BLM’ T-shirt sparks concerns about Derek Chauvin trial



Juror's 'BLM' T-shirt sparks concerns about Derek Chauvin trial

A photo that recently emerged online of a juror on the Derek Chauvin murder trial wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt has sparked questions about his impartiality, according to reports.

Juror Brandon Mitchell, 31, who is black, could be seen in the photo wearing the T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and the phrases “Get your knee off our neck” and “BLM.” He is also wearing a “Black Lives Matter” hat in the photo.

Mitchell was the first member of the jury that convicted Chauvin of murdering George Floyd to publicly comment about the trial.

In a Monday interview with the Star Tribune, Mitchell said the photo is from a rally in Washington, DC, last summer commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

Mitchell told the newspaper his uncle had posted the photo to social media.

The juror insisted the DC march had nothing to do with George Floyd.

“It was directly related to MLK’s March on Washington from the ’60s … The date of the March on Washington is the date,” he told the newspaper.

“I’d never been to [Washington] D.C.,” Mitchell said in explaining why we attended the rally.

“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.”

During the jury selection process, each prospective juror is required to answer a questionnaire which includes questions about participation in demonstrations and protests.

“Did you, or someone close to you, participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death?” one question read, according to the newspaper.

The other asked: “Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?”

Mitchell told the Tribune that he replied “no” to both questions.

“I think I was being extremely honest, for sure,” Mitchell said of the jury selection process. “I gave my views on everything — on the case, on Black Lives Matter.”

Jury consultant Alan Tuerkheimer told The Washington Post that Mitchell’s questionnaire answers could lead to an appeal by Chauvin’s attorney. The judge could also call in Mitchell for questioning, Tuerkheimer said.

“That could change the outcome of things; if there is anything that makes him seem that he was not forthcoming, it could be an avenue for the judge to reconsider the case,” Tuerkheimer told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, civil rights attorney Brian Dunn told The Washington Post that the photo is “undeniably suggestive of a possible bias in this juror.”

Dunn said a more detailed review would be needed to determine if Mitchell “lied about, or failed to provide complete answers on whether he has engaged in public activism.”

“If it is determined that the juror did not provide full disclosure to the defense, the question then becomes whether this lack of candor violated Mr. Chauvin’s right to a fair trial,” Dunn said.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Breaking News

Court upholds life sentence for man convicted of marijuana possession



Court upholds life sentence for man convicted of marijuana possession

A Mississippi man will continue to serve a life sentence for a pot bust after a court upheld the lengthy term.

Allen Russell’s life sentence was upheld by a state appeals court Tuesday due to his “habitual offender” status from past run-ins with the law.

State law allows for a life sentence without parole if a person has spent a year in prison on two separate felonies, one of which must be a violent offense, according to the Associated Press/Report for America.

Police confiscated five bags from Russell when he was arrested in 2017, and confirmed that two of the bags contained 1.5 ounces of marijuana.

Under state law, possession of between 1.05 and 8.8 ounces of marijuana carries a sentence of up to three years, a $3,000 fine, or both, the AP said

Russell did more than eight years in prison on two home burglary charges and spent another two years in the clink after a conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the Mississippi Court of Appeals ruling.

Several judges on the court dissented with the majority opinion.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Woman hoarding gas flees police, catches on fire after crash



Woman hoarding gas flees police, catches on fire after crash

A woman who was hoarding gasoline tried to flee police in a stolen car and crashed into a fiery wreck in South Carolina.

A Pickens County Sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over a 2007 Pontiac G6 Thursday evening after he ran the plates and found it was stolen, officials said.

The driver, Jessica Dale Patterson, 28, tried to outrun the pursuing deputy, but lost control of the car and flipped it over on the side of the road, according to a press release.

“The vehicle immediately caught fire, and multiple explosions were heard inside the vehicle,” officials wrote.

Patterson emerged from the car on fire herself, and the deputy pushed her to the ground to extinguish the flames.

The suspect told authorities she was “hoarding” several containers of fuel in the trunk, which were responsible for the fire.

There was no immediate word on the Patterson’s condition or charges against her.

The incident comes two days after the White House pleaded with Americans not to hoard gas amid the ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline.

The Southeast was hit hardest by the fuel shortage. By Thursday morning, fuel was once again flowing to the region.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Shooting in Rhode Island leaves as many as 9 injured



Shooting in Rhode Island leaves as many as 9 injured

A shooting in Rhode Island left as many as nine young men injured on Wednesday night.

The wild gun battle took place between groups with an “ongoing feud” in Providence, police said in a press conference.

Gunmen opened fire as they pulled up to a rival’s house in the city’s Washington Park section around 6:45 p.m., according to police.

Some of their targets returned fire, and when the smoke cleared, the Carolina Avenue lawn was littered with dozens of shell casings.

“We find as many as nine, eight or nine victims. We believe it’s going to be nine victims,” Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. said.

All but one of the injured men drove themselves to the hospital. Three people are believed to be in critical condition, the chief said.

The targeted attack marks the largest shooting in the city’s history, according to Clements. Four or five guns were allegedly involved.

“We don’t shy away from the fact that we have a gun issue in this city,” Clements said.

“It’s unfortunate that young men in this community have no regard for life at times. They fire the guns willingly at each other, and this is the case here.”

Detectives are familiar with the suspects and victims in the incident, and were interviewing them at the hospital in the wake of the shooting as officials work to piece together the scene and make arrests, police said.

Continue Reading