Chauvin juror Brandon Mitchell has said he doesn’t remember wearing or even owning a George Floyd-themed T-shirt, but it turns out he sported it more than once.
He wore the shirt, which says “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks/BLM,” during an Oct. 19 episode of “The Wholesome Podcast,” a dating-and-relationships show that he co-hosts, as shown on YouTube and flagged Wednesday on social media.
“Now Juror 52 is saying he doesn’t remember wearing or owning the George Floyd shirt,” tweeted right-wing commentator Jack Posobiec. “Be a shame if someone found his YouTube account that shows him wearing it on his podcast.”
Mr. Mitchell’s impartiality and candor during jury selection were called into question this week with the discovery of an online photo showing the 31-year-old juror wearing the shirt in August at a Washington, D.C., march.
Eric Nelson, attorney for Derek Chauvin, filed a motion Tuesday asking for a new trial on multiple grounds, including the judge’s refusal to move the trial or sequester the jury, and requested a hearing on juror misconduct.
The motion did not mention Mr. Mitchell, but “let’s face it, the only real reason he’s doing it is because of Mitchell. That’s the real reason,” said Joseph Tamburino, a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney who served as an expert analyst on the trial.
Mr. Mitchell on Monday told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he answered “no” on the jury questionnaire when asked if he had participated in “protests about police brutality or police use of force,” even though he attended the Aug. 28 march in Washington, D.C.
He said that he didn’t remember wearing or owning the shirt, and that the march was focused on voting rights, not George Floyd, even though Floyd family members spoke and photos of the event show “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” signs.
The 46-year-old Floyd died May 25 after then-Officer Chauvin kneeled on his neck or upper back for more than nine minutes even though Floyd said repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.”
“I think they asked if I attended any protests for George Floyd or anything for police brutality. My answer was no because I hadn’t,” Mr. Mitchell told WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. “This particular march was more so for voting, voter registration. Getting people out to get out and vote for the presidential election that was upcoming a couple months afterward … This was the only thing I attended.”
The march was held to mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but the National Action Network billed it as the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.”
Chauvin, 45, who was found guilty April 20 of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, is scheduled to be sentenced June 25 in Hennepin County Court.