An alternate juror in the Derek Chauvin murder trial said she was relieved she wasn’t on the jury because she was “worried” about how people would react to the verdict — but she added that she “felt he was guilty.”
“I was worried about whatever the verdict may be, if some people felt strongly on one side, other people felt strongly on the other side,” Lisa Christensen, one of two alternates, told “CBS This Morning” on Thursday.
“So no matter what, I felt like somebody wasn’t going to be happy.”
However, Christensen, who still sat through every minute of the trial, said she felt the former Minneapolis cop was guilty of murdering George Floyd.
“I felt he was guilty. They read the jury instructions to us in the courtroom, briefly. I didn’t know if it was going to be guilty on all counts but I would have said guilty,” Christensen said.
Asked why she believed Chauvin was guilty, she said she “felt the prosecution made a really good, strong argument,” singling out Dr. Martin Tobin, a world-renowned respiratory expert who offered riveting testimony for the prosecution.
“He explained everything, I understood it, down to where he said this is the moment that he lost his life — really got to me,” she said.
Christensen also said she didn’t think Chauvin’s defense made a “good impact.”
She said she thought defense attorney Eric Nelson “over-promised in the beginning and didn’t live up to what he said he was going to do.”
The alternate also was asked about her first impression of Chauvin.
“Every time I would look up, he was right in my vision. So we locked eyes quite a few times and I was pretty uncomfortable,” she said, adding that it appeared to her the disgraced cop was a “leader” at the scene “and other officers were following his lead.”
Christensen also praised Darnella Frazier, the Minneapolis teen who shot the viral video of Floyd’s murder.
“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.”
Christensen said the case will have an impact on her for a while.
“I just don’t understand how it got from a counterfeit $20 bill to a death. It kind of shocks me,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in his first interview since the trial ended that Chauvin put “ego before policing.”
“It’s really an exertion of authority, rather than trying to say look, the job of a police officer is to deal with people who are not having their best day,” Ellison told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes.”
“So I think about motive, we weren’t required to prove motive, but what I saw is somebody who just put ego before policing, ego before the discharge of a public trust and duty,” he said.
The AG said that when the crowd urged Chauvin to let go of Floyd as he was dying, “he was staring right back at them defiantly.”
Ellison said the cop was saying, in effect, “You people have no control over me. I’m going to show you.”
He also said Floyd was not actually resisting, but rather “he wasn’t complying because he was having an emotional reaction to getting into that car.”
A 12-member jury late Tuesday afternoon found Chauvin guilty of all three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter after just over 10 hours of deliberations.
He was transferred to the maximum-security Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, where he remains under “administrative segregation.”