Christensen talking about her experience as an alternate juror on the Derek Chauvin trial on CBS

Chauvin trial: Alternate juror discusses the trial moment that ‘really got me’

Lisa Christensen says that she ‘teared up’ watching the nine-and-a-half minute video of George Floyd losing his life

Alice Hutton
Thursday 22 April 2021 18:37
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An alternate juror in the trial of Derek Chauvin has spoken of how she cried watching the video of George Floyd losing his life.

On Tuesday the former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murdering Mr Floyd, a black man who struggled to breathe while pinned under Chauvin’s knee, sparking a global wave of Black Lives Matter protests.

Lisa Christensen was juror No.96 during the 13-day trial. She was on hand to step in if another juror fell ill and did not take part in the eventual verdict.

Following the conclusion of the trial, Ms Christensen told CBS that watching the nine and a half minute video, shot by a young by-stander, made her cry. 

“It was emotional. I think my eyes teared up a couple of times, so especially seeing it from different angles and things. I just don’t understand how it got from a counterfeit 20 dollar bill to a death. It kind of shocks me,” Ms Christensen said.

Ms Christensen added that she “commended” the testimony of Darnella Frazier, the teenager who captured the moment on her phone.

“I really felt that she felt guilty for not doing more and she feels responsible in a way, and I feel really bad for her”, she said.

“But I commend her on taking the video because, without her, I don’t think this would have been possible.”

This booking photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Corrections shows Derek Chauvin on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted Tuesday, April 20 of murdering George Floyd

Talking of her role as an alternate juror, Ms Christensen said she was initially concerned about being chosen.

“I was worried about, you know, whatever the verdict may be if some people felt strongly on one side, other people felt strongly on the other side,” she said.

“So no matter what, I felt like somebody wasn’t going to be happy.”

But later as the trial progressed she said that felt certain that Chauvin was guilty.

“I felt he was guilty. They read the jury instructions to us in the courtroom briefly, but I didn’t know it was going to be guilty on all counts but I would have said guilty.”

Crowd Outside Minnesota Court React To News That Chauvin Is Found Guilty For The Murder Of George Floyd

She continued: “I just felt like the prosecution made a really good, strong argument. Dr. Tobin was the one that really did it for me. He explained everything. I understood it down to where he said this is the moment that he lost his life, really got to me.”

Of the defence team she said: “I don’t think they had a good impact. I think he over-promised in the beginning and didn’t live up to what he said he was going to do.”

Over the course of the trial she crossed eyes with Chauvin a couple of times and felt “pretty uncomfortable”.

She added of watching his actions during the video: “I felt like he was the leader, and the other officers were following his lead. I kind of felt like he wasn’t taking the warnings seriously, obviously, kind of like I know what I’m doing.”

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