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Alternate Juror: 'Pretty Uncomfortable' Locking Eyes With Chauvin

Alternate Juror: 'Pretty Uncomfortable' Locking Eyes With Chauvin
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mug shot after being charged in the death of George Floyd.  (Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:02 PM

An alternate juror in the Derek Chauvin murder trial says she would have voted guilty if she had remained for deliberations, and that she felt "pretty uncomfortable" when she locked eyes with the former police officer in the courtroom.

"I felt he was guilty," Lisa Christensen told "CBS This Morning" in a story that aired Thursday. "I didn't know if it was going to be guilty on all counts, but I would have said guilty."

The jury on Tuesday found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the Memorial Day 2020 death of George Floyd. Chauvin held his knee on Floyd for over nine minutes while Floyd complained he was unable to breathe and bystanders filmed the incident and begged Chauvin to stop.

"I felt like he was the leader, and the other officers were following his lead," Christensen said. "I kind of felt like he wasn't taking the warnings seriously obviously, kind of like, 'I know what I'm doing.'"

Christensen was one of two alternate jurors dismissed at the end of the trial by Judge Peter Cahill. The rest deliberated for 10 hours before reaching their guilty verdict.

Christensen is the first to speak publicly about her experience in the jury box.

"Every time I would look up, he was right in my vision," she said. "So we locked eyes quite a few times, and I was pretty uncomfortable."

She also expressed some sympathy for him, saying, "I do feel bad for him. Whether, you know, he made a huge mistake and it cost somebody their life ... nobody is a winner out of this whole situation. I feel bad."

Chauvin, 45, was by far the most senior officer at the scene. Prosecutors said he pinned Floyd to the pavement outside Cup Foods, where Floyd had been accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, for 9 minutes, 29 seconds. Three other officers, since fired, face trial in August.

Prosecutors played a wide range of videos for the jury, including teenager Darnella Frazier's bystander video that was seen worldwide in the hours after Floyd's death. That video and the officers' body camera video captured bystanders shouting at Chauvin and the other officers to get off Floyd, warning that they were cutting off his breathing and asking them to check for a pulse.

Christensen said she felt prosecutors ''made a really good, strong argument'' and credited Dr. Martin Tobin, one of their medical experts, for his testimony on how Floyd's breathing was cut off by the restraint.

"Dr. Tobin was the one that really did it for me. He explained everything to me, I understood it, down to where he said, 'This was the moment where he lost his life.' Really got to me.''

Christensen was critical of the defense, saying attorney Eric Nelson "overpromised in the beginning and didn't live up to what he said he was going to do.''

Nelson argued that Floyd died due to his use of drugs and to heart issues. He also argued that videos were deceptive, that Chauvin's knee wasn't on Floyd's neck as long as prosecutors said and that an autopsy found no evidence of damage to his neck. And he sought to portray the concerned bystanders as a threatening crowd that distracted officers.

Nelson has not commented since the verdicts and didn't immediately respond to a message Thursday.

Christensen praised Frazier for shooting the video, saying without it she didn't think the case would have been possible.

''I just don't understand how it got from a counterfeit $20 bill to a death,'' she said. ''It kind of shocks me.''

The Associated Press and Newsmax staff contributed.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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An alternate juror in the Derek Chauvin murder trial says she would have voted guilty if she had remained for deliberations, and that she felt "pretty uncomfortable" when she locked eyes with the former police officer in the courtroom. "I felt he was guilty," Lisa...
derekchauvink, juror
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2021-02-22
Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:02 PM
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