Seven jurors from the April 2021 trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spoke to CNN about their experiences. It was their first interview since convicting Chauvin of murder in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.
Juror Sherri Belton Hardeman told host Don Lemon that ''race wasn't even ever mentioned in the three and a half weeks that we were in that courtroom, and it was never mentioned during deliberations, I don't believe.''
Nicole Deters, another juror, said that the trial's cause was ''racism in the system,'' and that ''when it came down to all three verdicts, it was based on the evidence and the facts 100 percent,'' according to The Hill.
The jurors recalled watching Floyd die as Chauvin was kneeling on his neck, while Floyd called out for his mother saying he could not breathe. Belton Hardeman said that the video of Floyd ''is definitely in my spirit, and it will always be there,'' adding that ''watching George Floyd call for his mom just broke my heart.
''Me being a mom, a Black mom, a Black grandmother. We call out for our mom when we're hurting, when we're in pain and when we're in need. ... Unfortunately, his mom could not come to his rescue. In fact, no one came to his rescue.''
Deters added that while she watched the footage for the first time in court, she recalled ''in the back of my head, I'm going, 'Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Just breathe. Just breathe.' And then I think to myself, 'George Floyd couldn't breathe.' I'm telling myself to breathe so I don't pass out having to watch this. But I'm watching a man who couldn't breathe.''
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