WASHINGTON: One of the jurors in the George Floyd murder trial broke his silence yesterday to describe the “draining” proceedings to US media, lifting a veil of secrecy over the deliberations.
“It was just dark. It felt like every day was a funeral and watching someone die every day,” Brandon Mitchell – who, with eleven other jurors, found the white police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering Floyd – told CNN.
Eight days after the historic verdict, the 31-year-old black man decided to come out of anonymity to encourage African-Americans to serve on juries.
Like voting, it “can help spark change”, he explained on Fox.
The experience was “rough”, said the Minneapolis high school basketball coach.
“It was extremely draining … we had to watch video at least five, six times a day” of George Floyd’s ordeal, which ended beneath the police officer’s knee, he said on gospel star Erica Campbell’s podcast.
“A lot of times, I turn my head and try not to watch,” he said, adding that some of the testimony – including from Floyd’s brother – had been extremely upsetting.
But once it came time for the jury to deliberate, he had no doubt.
“I feel like the evidence was overwhelming,” he told CNN.
Still, it took four or five hours for the jury to agree.
One juror was being “delicate” with the process and questioning the wording of the instructions, Mitchell said on ABC.
But in the end the verdict was unanimous, he said, telling Campbell’s podcast that all were “on the same page” with the decision.
The twelve jurors found Chauvin guilty of the three charges against him, a decision greeted by joy in Minneapolis and which was welcomed by officials including President Joe Biden.
The former police officer was immediately taken into custody.
His sentencing, which was scheduled for June 16, will finally take place on June 25.