Chauvin path to appeal? Black Lives Matter activist reportedly lied, made his way onto Chauvin’s jury

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN- There are any number of routes for an appeal for former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, a couple of which we’ve previously outlined, including refusal of the judge to order a change in venue, as well as  his refusal to sequester the jury.

However this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. One of the jurors who decided Chauvin’s fate turns out to be a Black Lives Matter activist who lied to the judge by claiming he was “impartial.”

According to Gateway Pundit, Brandon Mitchell, also known as “Juror #52” not only lied about his ability to be impartial, but has now come out and said that people need to get on juries to “spark some change.”

Mitchell was one of the first to come out publicly and do media interviews about the trial. This past week, he told syndicated radio host Erica Campbell that serving on juries is important.

“If we wanna see change, we wanna see some things going different. We gotta get out there and get into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change. Jury duty is one of those things—jury duty, voting. All of those things we gotta do,” the Post Millennial reported.

As proof of Mitchell’s activism, a Facebook post has surfaced with Mitchell, who claimed he “had very little knowledge” of the [Chauvin] case wearing a shirt last August that read, “Get your knee off our necks” and “BLM.”

Chauvin path to appeal? Black Lives Matter activist reportedly lied, made his way onto Chauvin's jury
Travis Mitchell Facebook post-Photo courtesy Internet archives

In March, FOX 9 reporter Paul Blume reported that “Judge Cahill asked Juror #52 whether he heard anything about the #GeorgeFloyd civil case. He says no. He explained hearing some basic info about trial dates, etc from the news in recent months, but nothing that would keep him from serving as an impartial juror. #ChauvinTrial”

Blume continued, “Juror #52 wrote in his jury questionnaire that he wondered why other police officers at the scene did not intervene in #GeorgeFLoyd deadly arrest. He recognizes the historic nature of the case. Defense says he is an acceptable juror. So state’s turn to question.”

In separate media interviews conducted since the verdict, Mitchell said that he and all but one of the 11 other jurors quickly reached a consensus to convict Chauvin on all charges in connection with George Floyd’s death.

Under questioning by Chauvin’s defense attorney during jury selection, Mitchell said that he didn’t know whether Chauvin had done anything wrong and claimed that he didn’t believe anyone intended to harm anyone.

Thus, there seems to be plenty of avenues for Chauvin’s defense team to appeal. There is also the matter of threats made during the trial by far-left neo-Marxist Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who stated that any verdict other than guilty would make it necessary for “more confrontational” protests, despite the fact that rioters have caused between $1 and $2 billion in damage since Floyd’s death last May.

Judge Peter Cahill admonished Waters for the statement, and said it could open an avenue for an appeal by Chauvin’s attorneys.

Another juror in the case, Lisa Christensen said that she feared “rioting and destruction” were Chauvin not convicted.

“I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict,” she said.

Mitchell said he felt no such pressure, and it is pretty understandable as to why. He apparently already had his mind made up and was somehow able to snow both Cahill as well as Chauvin’s attorneys that he would act in a fair and impartial manner.

“I don’t think any of us felt like that,” he told CBS News in an interview.

Stay tuned. This appears to be a clear path for Chauvin to appeal and possibly get a mistrial, or have his conviction thrown out. Mitchell probably thought he was pulling a fast one, but he may have put a dagger into the case against Derek Chauvin.  

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For more on Christensen’s concerns over the verdict, we invite you to read our reporting on that:

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – In a shocking admission that could have a profound effect on the guilty verdict in the trial of the officer involved in the incident that led to the death of George Floyd, an alternate juror in the trial disclosed that she was worried about her safety if she did not convict the former officer.

Brooklyn Center resident Lisa Christensen served as an alternate juror in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of Floyd, a black man, in May of 2020.

Video of the incident sparked protests and riots nationwide calling for police reform.

In an interview with KARE 11’s Lou Raguse, Christensen said that jurors were afraid, and that there was jury intimidation during the trial.

Christensen said she had mixed feelings about serving on the jury, saying she was concerned for her safety from people who may become upset by the eventual verdict:

“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.”

Raguse said that Christensen admitted to him that jurors were leery about each other as well:

“Christensen told me she and the other jurors didn’t even share their real names and occupations with each other.

Just called each other by juror number. Got along but mostly made small talk. Concerned about saying ‘too much.'”

Christensen said that she was aware of the protests occurring, and that she had trouble getting home one night because of the protests:

“It did not impact me as far as the trial went. However, only being about six blocks from the police department, I could hear everything.

When I came home, I could hear the helicopters flying over my house… I could hear the flash bangs going off. If I stepped outside, I could see the smoke from the grenades.

“One day, the trial ran a little late, and I had trouble getting to my house, because the protesters were blocking the interstate, so I had to go way around. I was aware, but it did not affect me at all.”

The trial was awash with controversy ever since Judge Peter Cahill ruled the trial would remain in Minneapolis on March 19.  The ruling came one week after the city agreed to a $27 million settlement in the Floyd estate’s civil case.

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Defense attorneys had argued the announcement of the settlement prejudiced their client in the middle of jury selection. The judge said in his ruling:

“Unfortunately, I think the pretrial publicity in this case will continue no matter how long we continue it. And as far as a change of venue, I do not think it that would give the defendant any kind of a fair trial beyond what we are doing here today.

“I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.”

During the trial, the shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man, in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center by a white police officer sparked even more protests and riots.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) spoke with protesters Saturday night, telling them to “get more confrontational” if the Chauvin verdict was not guilty:

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen (sic), then we know that we (have) got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice.

“We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to (be) more active, we’ve got to (be) more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

Judge Cahill addressed her comments in court following closing arguments:

“I’m aware that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial, and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction and talk about being ‘confrontational.’

“Beyond the articles that we’re talking specifically about the facts of this case, a congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.”

He continued that Rep. Waters may have given the defense “something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before coming to their decision.

Immediately upon conviction, Judge Cahill revoked Chauvin’s bail and he was remanded into custody.

Reports indicate that Chauvin is being monitored on suicide watch at MCF-Oak Park Heights. Guards are reportedly watching him to ensure he does attempt suicide, as well as to protect the former police officer from other inmates.

Chauvin faces a maximum sentence of forty years in prison, although typical convictions for second-degree murder in Minnesota carry about 15 years. The fact that Chauvin was a police officer at the time of Floyd’s death and could be used as an aggravating circumstance to increase the sentence.

Chauvin will be sentenced in about eight weeks.

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