Questions used to vet potential jurors in the trials of former Minneapolis Police Department officers charged in the killing of George Floyd have been released.
Attorneys on both sides will ask potential jurors questions about their views on MPD, the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality and demonstrations and civil unrest following Floyd’s death.
Former MPD officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, is charged with second degree murder. Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane, who were at the scene, are charged with aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder.
Potential jurors will first be asked to recall the events of May 25, when Floyd was killed. They will also be asked about their overall impressions of the defendants and Floyd.
Juror questions also include whether or not someone has watched the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, and if so, how many times. Attorneys will ask if potential jurors or someone close to them participated in demonstrations against police brutality after Floyd’s death.
Other questions about the events of May 25 and following days include:
- If you participated [in demonstrations], did you carry a sign? What did it say?
- Did you or someone you know get injured or suffer any property damage during the protests that took place after George Floyd’s death?
- Do you believe your community has been negatively or positively affected by any of the protests that have taken place in the Twin-Cities area since George Floyd’s death?
Attorneys will also ask potential jurors about their news consumption, including if and how often they consume news on social media, television and print.
Jurors’ past experience with law enforcement and views of MPD will be taken into account. Potential jurors will be asked if they have regular contact with law enforcement in their neighborhood and if they or someone close to them has advocated for police reform in the past.
Other questions about views on law enforcement include:
- Have you, or someone close to you, ever been the victim of a crime where the police were called?
- Have you ever been restrained or put in a chokehold, for example, by law enforcement or during a self-defense class?
Potential jurors will also be asked to rate certain statements on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Statements include: “Police in this country treat whites and blacks equally” and “The criminal just system is biased against racial and ethnic minorities.”
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 11.