Minneapolis, MN – The first juror to go public from the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin advocated doing jury duty to “spark some change” in society and participated in George Floyd protests in the nation’s capital last August.
Brandon Mitchell, who was juror No. 52, has been making the media circuit talking about his experience deciding Chauvin’s fate and promoting his podcast.
In the process, Mitchell advocated using jury duty for social justice purposes and revealed he may have had an agenda, The Post Millennial reported.
When Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill questioned the jurors who had already been selected after the city made the largest pre-trial settlement in U.S. history with Floyd’s family during jury selection, Mitchell said he hadn’t heard anything about it except the trial dates.
“Judge Cahill asked Juror #52, whether he heard anything about the #GeorgeFloyd civil case,” KMSP reporter Paul Blume tweeted on March 15.
“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 impartial juror,” Blume posted.
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 impartial juror. #ChauvinTrial
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) March 15, 2021
During jury selection, Mitchell said he’d never even watched the entire video of Floyd’s death.
But once the trial was over and Chauvin had been convicted on all three charges, it turned out that Mitchell had engaged in activism.
Pictures posted to social media by a family member showed that Mitchell had actively participated in anti-police protests in Washington, DC last summer while wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt that said “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.”
His uncle, Travis Mitchell, posted the picture to Facebook on Aug. 31, 2020.
“The next Generation being socially active representing in DC my son Marzell, my nephew Brandon Rene Mitchell, and brotha Maurice Jauntiness Johnson,” he captioned the post.
Mitchell is the only juror thus far from the trial to voluntarily go public with his identity.
He has given multiple interviews to various media outlets and used those interviews to promote his own production, The Wholesome Podcast.
Mitchell told the morning radio show “Get Up with Erica Campbell” on April 27 that he believed jury duty should be used to bring about societal change.
“I mean it’s important if we wanna see some change, we wanna see some things going different, we gotta into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change,” he said. “Jury duty is one of those things. Jury duty. Voting. All of those things we gotta do.”
Here’s the moment Juror #52 (Brandon Mitchell) from the Chauvin trial talks about jury duty as a means for societal change. pic.twitter.com/xewZitQXvq
— Janet (@janetburke27) May 2, 2021
During the interview, Mitchell said he thought he had been chosen for the jury because he was “so mild mannered” during questioning and “even -tempered the entire time so it didn’t seem that I was too biased either way.”
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on April 20.
He is being held in solitary confinement for his safety at maximum security state prison in Minnesota awaiting sentencing on June 25.
Chauvin is facing 12.5 to 40 years in prison and the state has asked the judge to consider an enhanced sentence for aggravating factors.