Thirty-one-year-old basketball coach Brandon Mitchell has spent the better part of the last two months examining the ins and outs of a murder case that captivated the nation. Having taken a week to process all that has happened, Mitchell is now open to talking about what it was like to be a juror during the State v. Chauvin trial.
Much of the trial centered around one man, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Having killed George Floyd on May 25, Chauvin pled not guilty to murder charges in hopes of avoiding jail time. However, Mitchell saw that Chauvin's demeanor changed as it became more and more likely that he could be convicted of murder.
“As the case went on, his demeanor kind of changed to more of a confused look as this isn’t how it’s supposed to go,” Mitchell told CNN.
“I didn’t see any remorse.”
Chauvin wasn't the only person who was impacted by the trial. Consistently examining the death of an unarmed Black man took a toll on Mitchell's mental health. He described the trial as both "dark" and "depressing" at times.
“It felt like every day was a funeral and watching someone die every day,” he explained.
“It was tense every day. I wasn’t nervous, but it was stressful. It was a lot of pressure.”
Despite the pressure heaped upon the jury, Mitchell and his fellow jurors were able to get through the deliberation process seamlessly. He described the deliberation period as a "straightforward" process with "few hiccups." In the end, the jury voted to convict Chauvin on all three counts, but Mitchell is quick to point out that their decision was independent of public discourse.
“We weren’t watching the news, so we don’t know what was going on,” Mitchell told Good Morning America.
“You’re watching somebody die on a daily basis, so that stress alone is enough to take your mind away from whatever is going on outside the four walls of the courtroom.”
Following the jury, Mitchell and the other jurors will return to their normal lives. Meanwhile, Chauvin awaits a June 25 court date where he will receive his sentencing for murdering George Floyd on camera.
Photo Credit: Getty Images