The federal trial of the three former Minneapolis police officers who participated in the murder of George Floyd began Thursday (January 20) with jury selection.
Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao each face state and federal charges for their role in the May 25, 2020 murder of Floyd who was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Each of the former officers face state aiding and abetting a murder and manslaughter charges, while the federal prosecutors will argue the three violated George Floyd’s civil rights during the fatal arrest.
According to The Associated Press, a judge dismissed several potential jurors for various reasons: some expressed their discomfort in having to repeatedly watch the graphic video of Floyd’s murder during the trial and religious objections over judging another person.
Would-be jurors were brought into the federal courthouse in St. Paul in groups, where they each answered an expansive questionnaire and questioned by US District Judge Paul Magnuson. This process will be repeated until a group of 40 is selected. From there, the defense and prosecution will be able to challenge and strike jurors, before a group of 18 is chosen –– 12 will deliberate and six will serve as alternates.
Among those who were dismissed today were several people who admitted they would have a hard time being impartial.
Nine months ago, Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd and is currently serving a 22 and half year prison sentence.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.