Posts Mislead on Words of Alternate Juror in Chauvin Trial - FactCheck.org

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An alternate juror in the trial of Derek Chauvin said she initially had "mixed feelings" about jury duty, because of concerns about "disappointing" either side and the possibility of "rioting." She said she "would have said guilty," but as an alternate did not participate in the verdict. Social media posts now use her words to erroneously imply that a juror admitted outside pressure was a factor in the verdict.
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On April 20, jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin convicted the former Minneapolis police officer of three charges in the killing of George Floyd: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The verdict followed a weeks-long trial in which prosecutors laid out the case that Chauvin, a white officer, killed Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest last May.

But a popular headline and social media posts gaining traction online are now misrepresenting the words of an alternate juror in the trial — who did not have a role in deciding the verdict — to falsely imply that a juror voted to find Chauvin guilty because of external social forces.

"'I Didn't Want to Go Through the Rioting': Juror in Chauvin Trial Makes Stunning Admission over 'Guilty' Verdict," an April 22 headline published by BeckerNews.com reads. The same story was also published on the website TrendingPolitics.com. The two links were collectively shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook, according to CrowdTangle analytics data.

The story at one point falsely claims that the juror "outright admitted that jury intimidation played a major part in the trial."

On Twitter, Jack Posobiec, a correspondent for the right-wing channel One America News Network, shared the BeckerNews.com story, writing: "'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' – Chauvin juror makes stunning admission." It was retweeted more than 4,700 times.

Jenna Ellis, who served as a lawyer for former President Donald Trump's campaign, retweeted a post of the quote in question (which attributed the words to "one juror") and added: "Tell me more about how this trial was fair and the jury wasn't at all coerced."

But the posts misrepresent and omit context about who made the quote and to what it was in reference.

As we…
Angelo Fichera
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