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Alternate Juror in Derek Chauvin Trial: “I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again”

Alternate Juror in Derek Chauvin Trial: “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,” Lisa Christensen said of her “mixed feelings” when filling out the juror questionnaire.

Well before the guilty verdict was announced in the Derek Chauvin trial earlier this week, there were concerns that fears of riots breaking out or jury members being personally targeted if they voted the “wrong way” would play a role in their deliberations, especially after some “news” outlets stupidly revealed previously unknown personal information on some of the jurors in the closing days of the trial.

Lisa Christensen, who was an alternate juror in the trial (but did not know she was an alternate until just before deliberations began), gave an interview to Minneapolis news station KARE 11 on Thursday where she provided the first insight the public is getting into what went through the minds of jurors before and during the trial. Some of the things she said during the interview raised more questions regarding the possibility that some jurors feared voting to acquit would hurt their city – or them.

Christensen, who lives in Brooklyn Center, told reporter Lou Raguse that she had “mixed feelings” about the possibility of being a juror when she filled out the jury questionnaire:

“There was a question on the questionnaire [asking if she wanted to be a juror] and I put I did not know. The reason, at that time, was I did not know what the outcome was going to be, so I felt like either way you are going to disappoint one group or the other. 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.”

She also told Raguse the jurors did not use their real names with each other during the trial, nor did they discuss their occupations or families. Apparently, there was a concern about saying “too much”:

“I got to know them a little bit, but it was hard because we did not talk about anything pertaining to the trial at all. We did not identify ourselves amongst each other, so we did not say our names, occupations, or anything about our families. We had to do small talk about the weather and have meaningless conversations.”

Because she lives in Brooklyn Center, Christensen got an up-close and personal view of some of the rioting that took place after the officer-involved shooting death of Daunte Wright last week. She claimed the incident “did not impact” her thoughts on the Chauvin case:

It did not impact me as far as the trial went. However, only being about six blocks from the police department, I could hear everything. When I came home, I could hear the helicopters flying over my house… I could hear the flash bangs going off. If I stepped outside, I could see the smoke from the grenades. One day, the trial ran a little late, and I had trouble getting to my house, because the protesters were blocking the interstate, so I had to go way around. I was aware, but it did not affect me at all.

She also says she believes the Chauvin trial will make it harder for the three other officers charged in the case to get a fair trial due to all the publicity:

Raguse: Based on what you saw in this trial, how do you think that will go for them?

Christensen: I think their trial is going to be impacted by this trial and the outcome of it. I think everybody played such a different role and everybody should be judged on their participation.

Raguse: When you say a tougher time, do you mean putting on the trial because of the publicity from this trial?

Christensen: Yes.

During the interview, Christensen made it clear that she believed Chauvin was guilty and says she would have voted that way had she been a part of deliberations. Her exchange with the KARE reporter as well as other statements she’s made to the media since then give me the feeling she had determined Chauvin’s guilty early on, but that’s just my impression.

This is my personal opinion, of course, but it’s hard to believe that fear of retaliation wasn’t present in the jury room on some level, even if it wasn’t explicitly discussed. If you’ll recall, during the jury selection process, some prospective jurors admitted to fears of being targeted by rioters.

Human emotions are what they are. Though they were partially sequestered throughout the trial, none of the Chauvin jurors could have possibly missed the destruction that happened in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death, if not also the nightly rioting that happened in cities like Portland and Seattle.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s highly unlikely that any juror would openly admit that safety concerns played a role in their decision to convict. It’s not very often you see people who are put in the position of making decisions that impact others admit they voted the way they did because they were fearful of what might happen to them if they didn’t.

That said, obviously, Christensen’s words will have to be taken at face value. Assuming other jurors come forward in the coming weeks to share their stories, it will be interesting to hear their thoughts on what went through their minds before, during, and after the trial, and if they line up with Christensen’s.

Watch the full interview below:

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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How much was she paid for this interview?

The Friendly Grizzly | April 23, 2021 at 8:49 pm

Hungry for publicity.

Frankly it seems to me like the judge did everything in their power to ensure he was convicted and that the conviction would be vacated on appeal.

Not moving the trial was questionable enough. Not moving the trial AND refusing to sequester the jury was a JOKE.

    maxmillion in reply to Olinser. | April 23, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    The same thought occurred to me. It’s not a bad way out for the judge, because moving the trial would’ve resulted in more riots. The problem is you can’t necessarily count on appellate courts to do the right thing either and Chauvin may well be in for a very long prison stretch.

      buck61 in reply to maxmillion. | April 23, 2021 at 11:24 pm

      i am interested to find out what the sentence will be, the state wants much more than the minimum. Given his bowing down to the state the entire process I would guess Chauvin gets at least double the minimum.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to maxmillion. | April 25, 2021 at 9:03 am

      The solution to riot problems are bullets. We cannot allow threats of riots to override due process.

    REDACTED in reply to Olinser. | April 24, 2021 at 8:50 am

    trust me, this was Chauvin’s shot to get out. It will only get harder from here on out.

    the appeals process is arduous at best, it will take years and years

    he’ll probably get whacked with 2 years

No brains. No integrity. No conscience. The standard is “What’s in it for me?”

She must be a Dem.

    henrybowman in reply to TX-rifraph. | April 24, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    No logic, either. I mean, just try to parse this:

    “There was a question on the questionnaire [asking if she wanted to be a juror] and I put I did not know. The reason, at that time, was I did not know what the outcome was going to be, so I felt like either way you are going to disappoint one group or the other.

    That’s the sort of mental vomit that scientists would dub “not even wrong.”

      JaneDoh in reply to henrybowman. | April 26, 2021 at 2:12 am

      “He should have just written him a ticket and let him go. I think it got out of hand quick.”

      How was Chauvin in a position to write Floyd a ticket and let him go? He was already “under arrest for forgery” when Chauvin arrived. Do cops normally just write tickets and let people go for counterfeiting, retail theft, and DUI? Where was Floyd going to go with his ticket–back to the driver’s seat of the car?

        Edward in reply to JaneDoh. | April 27, 2021 at 11:23 am

        Applying logic to someone who obviously isn’t a logical thinker (a thinker at all??) is a waste of time.

Once again, as they have been doing for about 150 years, the Democrats use KKK tactics to get the verdict they want in the courts.

Gotta do whatever it takes to keep’m on the plantation. It’s a bit more complicated these days. They can vote now and can wander off if they don’t like what they’re being given by the Dem PTB in the government. Hence the toleration for looting and rioting in the cities the Dems have dominated and run for 40-50+ years. And the promise of preferred treatment over whitey whenever and wherever possible. Including forcing whitey to sit through financially lucrative CRT indoctrination and seminars in government run schools and corporations in bed with government.

    ALPAPilot in reply to JHogan. | April 23, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler apparently was sent out to return Sen. Tim
    Scott back to the cotton fields.

who would want to harm Jabba ?

one would think that they would at least straighten the lampshade for the interview

tres gauche

I think we should start a penny jar with a coin for each person who thinks most of the jurors had predetermined to convict and knowingly lied on their jury forms.

A second jar for each person who thinks all the jurors, even the ones not inclined to convict were afraid not to do so.

Just think of all the money we could donate to the website from those two jars. ;p

“Woke” medical doctors are harassing the Maryland AG demanding an investigation into Dr. Fowler.

Have been wondering how much worse it was for Chavin that the jury could only see his eyes and not his facial expressions. Never seen as human, just a set of eyes.

Sure, reveal your identity and tell everyone you voted to convict for fear of retaliation. Lets see how that works out for ya.

    AnAdultInDiapers in reply to tom. | April 24, 2021 at 8:50 am

    She did not vote to convict.

    She was an alternate, meaning that had one of the 12 jurors been unable to participate in deliberating the verdict she might have been asked to act at their replacement.

    Her views on his guilt are thus of interest, in that they come from the perspective of someone that only had access to the same information the jury had, but had no actual influence on the verdict returned.

And she’s smiling ?

    henrybowman in reply to Allears. | April 24, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Sure she’s smiling. It’s her 15 minutes. She has zero clue that there’s a pig’s head in her future “Just Because,” the cleanup of which will take her much more than 15 minutes.

nordic_prince | April 24, 2021 at 9:03 am

She’s considering only the short term. The long term result will be more rioting, destruction, and death. What a foolish woman.

    Well, since she was an alternate she did not vote to convict. The heavy suspicion that the reaction of the balance of the jury was the same as hers is the foolish part. It is bad enough to go into work not knowing if you will come home in a box because a madman or felon killed you, now you have to factor in getting stuck in jail for a great many years just because you did your job the way you were trained to do. If I was in law enforcement I would be looking to be doing a job where I had zero contact with the public. If I could not transfer to one of those, I would be thinking of starting training for a different career.

    The number of inner city blacks in Chicago that got killed after Obama shot his mouth off increased notably. That will continue in many places. This trial has literally signed the death warrant of a great many people. The demagogues sunk Athenian democracy in 420 BC. They are trying to do he same today.

    We are at 189 homicides in Chicago now. That is the highest number for this date in a decade.

Russ from Winterset | April 24, 2021 at 10:19 am

My prediction:

Any of the jurors who are willing to come forward and speak about the trial are going to say they weren’t pressured into the verdict. Doing otherwise would just hang a big shiny target on their foreheads.

The ones who felt pressured MIGHT confess to their relatives someday. Whispering. In a remote cabin. With the radio on to defeat surveillance.

Honestly, at this point when I hear ‘jury of your peers’, and mentally substitute ‘my for ‘your’, I want to puke.

She protected her coworkers at Best Buy from potential trauma

Question about exhibit 17: the juror (and Branca during his trial liveblog) identified this as “the picture of Chauvin with his hand in his pocket.” It doesn’t look to me like his hand is in a pocket; he’s just wearing black gloves. Is there a picture where Chauvin’s hand was actually in his pocket?

I got the impression from her interview that 96 believed her job was to convict Chauvin. She felt “heartbroken” when she was sent home rather than relieved that nobody would be camped out on her front yard with torches and pitchforks. Reading the notes she took, she found the emotional bystander testimony very persuasive rather than recognizing it as emotional manipulation: “the dispatcher was so brave,” “Williams did a good job explaining the blood choke hold,” “I could hear the sadness in the 9-year-old’s voice,” “It really bothered me that the 17-year-old was trying to hold back tears” Those are dear diary entries or notes you make anticipating giving an interview later, not notes you make to help you recall facts and apply a law.

She also wrote down that Genevieve Hanson was a strong witness!