In these photos, Brandon Mitchell, a 31-year-old black man, wears a T-shirt in the colors of the Black Lives Matter movement with the words “Get your knees off our necks”. They reappeared on social networks after several interviews given last week by this basketball coach.
Mr. Mitchell explained to the local press on Monday that he was photographed in this outfit on the sidelines of a large anti-racist demonstration organized in late August in Washington for the anniversary of the historic speech of civil rights leader Martin Luther King “I have a dream” .
But, in the questionnaire sent to potential jurors before the trial, he said he had not participated in the protests against police violence that followed the death of African-American George Floyd, suffocated under the knee of Derek Chauvin on May 25. in Minneapolis.
“His answers were technically correct,” as it was a commemoration, juror selection expert Jeffrey Frederick told AFP. “It is now up to the judge to question him again to see if he has any preconceived ideas or if he has lied, and to decide if it is serious enough to affect the outcome of the trial,” he added. .
“But the bar is very high to cancel a trial, and that happens very rarely,” he said.
Likewise, Steve Tuller, a jury selection consultant, considers “unlikely that these revelations will change the verdict.” But according to him, “there is no doubt that the defense will use it to appeal.”
At the end of an extraordinary trial, Derek Chauvin was declared guilty on April 20 of the three charges held against him, including “murder”. He was immediately jailed. His sentence will be returned on June 25.
Eight days after this historic verdict, Brandon Mitchell had decided to step out of anonymity to encourage African-Americans to sit on juries. “Like voting, it can help bring about a change,” he said.