Jurors, Alternates Set For Chauvin Trial, Case To Begin Next Week
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Jurors Including Three Black men, One Black Woman Set For Derek Chauvin Trial

Clyburn George Floyd
FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds up an image of George Floyd during a rally on the first day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on murder charges in the death of Floyd, in New York City, New York, U.S., March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) -The last member of a full jury of 12, along with three alternates, were seated on Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing murder charges in the arrest and death of George Floyd last year.

Twelve jurors and two alternates had been seated since the trial began two weeks ago: six white women, two white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records.

A third alternate was seated on Tuesday, a white man who said he worked as an accountant.

Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, saying he was following police training during the deadly arrest of Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill and the lawyers in the case have questioned dozens of potential jurors in court in the last two weeks to weigh their impartiality. Chauvin, wearing a suit and tie, has taken extensive notes on a yellow legal pad throughout the proceedings.

All of those interviewed said they were aware of video showing Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on the neck of Floyd as the 46-year-old Black man begged for his life. Almost all said they had seen at least some of the footage, which sparked global protests against police brutality and racism.

The court has promised to preserve jurors’ anonymity for the duration of the trial, which is taking place in a tower in downtown Minneapolis ringed by concrete barriers and barbed wire and patrolled by soldiers from the state’s National Guard.

Opening arguments are due to begin on Monday.

Chauvin killed Floyd when he pressed the weight of his body on Floyd’s neck in a move to restrain him. Bystanders recorded video where Chauvin held his knee t6o Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement and protests began nationwide in the days after and lasted throughout the summer.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen;Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)