An alternate juror in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis admitted she feared “people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.”
Brooklyn Center resident Lisa Christensen, the Washington Examiner reported, did not suggest that the jury allowed such concerns to impact the verdict of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
But her acknowledgement shows at a minimum that jurors likely were aware of the possibility of violent protesters seeking retribution against jurors.
Christensen said she had mixed feelings about being on the jury.
“The reason, at that time, was I did not know what the outcome was going to be, so I felt like either way you are going to disappoint one group or the other,” she said in an interview with KARE 11. “I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again, and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.”
Christensen said she believed there was enough evidence to convict Chauvin.
Christensen thought Derek Chauvin was guilty.
Dr. Martin Tobin was the witness who influenced her the most toward that conclusion.
That demonstration where the jurors felt their necks? Extremely effective.
Much much much more to come after I start putting this together. pic.twitter.com/HwOi3tFBRr
— Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse) April 22, 2021
Christensen said she had seen the video of Floyd’s death before the trial and also had learned of the city’s $27 million payment to the family.
She said she thought the force used by Chauvin was not appropriate.
“I kept thinking about the critical decision-making model that was presented. It was in the back of my mind about how they said you must reassess constantly, and I felt like that was not done.”
She said the videos of the incident were “what really nailed it.”
The identities of the jurors were protected during the trial, and no other jury member has stepped forward to comment.
Reporter Kyle Becker at Becker News said Christenson “outright admitted that jury intimidation played a major part in the trial.”
He cited the comments from Democratic politicians, including President Biden, who said while the jury was deliberating he wanted the “right” verdict and that the evidence was overwhelming.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., urged protesters to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin was not found guilty.
She’s now the target of a congressional ethics complaint. Her comments came before the jury was sequestered.
The octogenarian told a crowd of protesters: “Well, we’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
It was widely understood as a message to jurors to find Chauvin guilty.
Judicial Watch’s complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics said: “Ms. Waters took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, which includes the rights accorded to Officer Chauvin to a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his peers and to due process. Ms. Waters’ inflammatory comments that pressure the jury, while encouraging rioters already engaged in rampant destruction of property and attacks on police officers, to ‘get more confrontational’ are irresponsible and dangerous incitement by a Member of Congress.”
The complaint continued: “Ms. Waters’ conduct surely does not reflect creditably on the House. By encouraging violence in response to a ‘guilty’ jury verdict, she seeks to undermine the Constitution’s guarantees and protections, and fosters the breakdown of civil society. Such dangerous and reckless rhetoric demands investigation.
“More disturbingly still, this behavior by Rep. Waters represents a pattern of conduct. In June 2018, Ms. Waters exhorted protesters to form ‘crowds’ to ‘push back’ on President Trump’s cabinet members, saying, ‘If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.'”
Attorney Alan Dershowitz said the judge should have granted a mistrial because of Waters’ statements.
“Well, first of all the judge should have granted a motion for mistrial based on the efforts of Congresswoman Waters to influence the jury,” he told Newsmax’s Grant Stinchfield. “Her message was clearly intended to get to the jury. If you acquit or you find the charge less than murder we will burn down your building, we will burn down your businesses. We will attack you. We will do what happened to the witness, blood on their door.”
He called it an “attempt to intimidate the jury.”
“It’s borrowed precisely from the Ku Klux Klan of the 1930s,” he said.
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