Judge Declines To Sequester Jury In Chauvin Trial Following Shooting, Riots In Minneapolis

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Judge Peter Cahill denied a request from the defense to sequester the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin following a fatal shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and unrest in Minneapolis.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson filed a motion Monday morning to sequester the jury after 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed Sunday by police during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center, resulting in protests and rioting. When a jury gets sequestered, jurors are isolated to avoid exposure to outside information that could taint their opinions on the case.

Nelson argued that the jury should be sequestered because several of the jurors had connections to Brooklyn Center, including one juror who lives there, Fox 9 News reported. He said that the shooting and the unrest could influence the jury’s decision in the trial. (RELATED: Over 250 Buildings Damaged Because Of Riots In Minnesota’s Twin Cities: Report)

However, Cahill denied the motion, calling the Chauvin trial “a totally different case,” according to Fox 9.

Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said that her son called her Sunday afternoon and told her that police stopped him for having air fresheners in his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota, according to an NBC News report. Brooklyn Center police Chief Tim Gannon said during a Monday press conference, however, that Wright was pulled over because his car had expired tags, according to NPR News. Katie Wright told NBC News that she heard police officers say, “Daunte, don’t run.”

Brooklyn Center police said that they had tried to arrest a driver whom they had stopped around 2:00 PM Sunday after determining that he had an outstanding warrant, according to the police statement. The driver allegedly re-entered the vehicle once officers tried to arrest him, but an officer shot at the vehicle, hitting the driver. The vehicle traveled several blocks before crashing into another vehicle, according to the statement.

Police said that they attempted life-saving measures but the driver died on the scene. A female passenger, who Katie Wright said was her son’s girlfriend, was injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment, the statement read.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said in a news conference that the officer who shot Wright intended to use a taser and described the incident as “an accidental discharge,” according to the Associated Press (AP). In the body camera footage from the officer who fired, the officer can be heard saying “Taser!” multiple times.

“This was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon said, according to the AP.

Hours after Wright’s death, rioters jumped on top of police cars and threw rocks, garbage, and water bottles at officers outside of the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Sunday night, according to numerous reports. Looters also broke into around 20 businesses at a nearby shopping center, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said, the AP reported.

Police officers used rubber bullets and chemical agents in an attempt to quell the unrest, according to the New York Times. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott ordered a curfew until 6 AM, and the local school district moved to remote learning Monday, the Times reported.