A juror for the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was an alternate, expressed her concern about being called for the job, saying she was scared rioters would show up at her home if they were unhappy with the verdict.
When asked whether she wanted to be a juror by a KARE 11 reporter, Lisa Christensen said she had “mixed feelings” because of the possibility of social unrest associated with the case, reports TownHall.
In the interview on Thursday, Christensen explained that, “I had mixed feelings. There was a question on the questionnaire about it and I put I did not know. The reason, at that time, as 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 added.
Christensen was juror No.96 during the 13-day trial. She had no idea that she was one of two alternates until the judge dismissed her right before the 12 jurors were sequestered, KARE 11 reported.
She sat through every minute of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s trial as prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their cases in the murder of George Floyd. Christensen was on hand to step in if another juror fell ill and did not take part in the eventual verdict.
She also admitted that while she liked the transparency that came with a televised trial, it made the three-week period “more intense.” She also said that rioting in her hometown of Brooklyn Center during the trial had no impact on her decision but that it did prevent her from returning home one night.
“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,” Christensen said.
“When I came home, I could hear the helicopters flying over my house. … I could hear the flashbangs 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.”
Despite her fears of riots, Christensen continues to believe Chauvin is guilty of second-degree accidental murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. The jury reached this conclusion unanimously on Tuesday afternoon.
After Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters called for violent rioters to become “more confrontational” if a guilty verdict was not reached, Chauvin’s lawyers requested the judge to rule the case a mistrial after closing arguments on Monday. While the judge rejected the motion, he did say that if they appealed, they might have a case.
Judge Peter Cahill conceded before warning elected officials to avoid commenting on judicial processes, a practice he called “abhorrent.” He said, “I will give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
President Joe Biden, however, ignored Cahill’s request that politicians refrain from publicly discussing the case when he said on Tuesday that he had spoken with Floyd’s family and was “praying the verdict is the right verdict.”