“They wanted to make sure they got it right,” said Brandon Mitchell, the first juror to speak out about the process.
It took the jurors less than two days to reach a guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, but according to juror number 52, it could have happened even quicker.
High school basketball coach Brandon Mitchell, 31, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that a decision could have come within 20 minutes of deliberating, except one of the 12 jurors was initially unsure.
“They wanted to make sure they got it right,” Mitchell said during the interview Wednesday. “I think the one juror that was kind of, I wouldn’t say slowing us down, but was being delicate with the process, more so, was just kind of hung up with a few words in the instructions.”
He described the atmosphere of the Hennepin County courtroom during the more than three weeks of arguments to several news outlets.
The grim details and video evidence in the trial weighed heavily on people in the courtroom. Mitchell said the process of repeatedly watching video of George Floyd’s death felt like a funeral.
“Every day we had to come in and watch a Black man die. That alone is stressful,” Mitchell told CBS. “It definitely had its impact on me. There were a few days where I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to make it in the next day.’ Especially as a Black man, and a larger Black man.”
Derek Chauvin was convicted of second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter last week. His sentencing was originally scheduled for June 16, but was recently rescheduled for June 25 due to a scheduling conflict. Chauvin also still faces the possibility of federal charges in both Floyd’s death and in the brutal 2017 arrest of a Black 14-year-old who he also kneeled on for minutes at a time.
The trial for the other three former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, is scheduled to begin in August.