CBS News is being criticized over a broadcast segment on Monday which some observers felt provided too many details about the identity of jurors in the Derek Chauvin murder trial of George Floyd, which wrapped up earlier in the day.
In blasting the network’s coverage, critics suggested the intent was pressuring jurors into voting for a murder conviction, which would carry the harshest sentence, lest their identities be revealed completely.
During the segment, CBS correspondent Jamie Yuccas was asked if jurors were “aware of the powderkeg and the significance around this trial, the eyes of the world, the larger meaning of what’s at stake here in the court.”
Yuccas responded by describing how jurors have been sequestered and how they have been coming and going into the courtroom via an underground tunnel. Without naming names, she went on to say that at least one of the jurors is from Brooklyn Center and lives near where Daunte Wright lived, a young black man who was killed during a traffic stop after he resisted arrest and was shot with a handgun the officer appeared to mistake for her Taser.
“We got a list of al 14 jurors — their ages, what they had written on some of their statements that they provided to the court before they were selected as jurors,” Yuccas continued. “So what we know from that, and that’s really the only information besides being in the courtroom that I can give to you, is that from those statements that they provided the court, there’s at least one juror who lives in Brooklyn Center.”
Yuccas went on to explain that after Wright was shot, jurors were immediately sequestered because “there are at least two or three” others “who have connections to Brooklyn Center,” as the network put up a graphic showing the demographic breakdown of the 14 people. They consist of: 6 white women; 2 white men; 2 multiracial women; 3 black men; and 1 black woman.
She then noted that two of the 14 will be dismissed, bringing the jury pool down to 12, and those jurors will decide Chauvin’s fate.
“We’ll see who those jurors are,” said Yuccas. “We have an idea based on prior cases here, how that will work. It does look like two Caucasian women will be the ones that will be let go…which makes the jury even more diverse.”
Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, called out the segment and CBS for all but doxxing the jurors in an attempt to potentially influence their decisions.
“Media are deliberately putting targets on the backs of jurors if they don’t vote the way the corrupt media wants them to vote,” he tweeted with the following clip:
.@jamieyuccas reports on the makeup of the 14 jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial. At least one of them lives in Brooklyn Center, where Daunte Wright was fatally shot by police last week. https://t.co/QAcai1sXgl pic.twitter.com/CC3QNMjnDn
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 19, 2021
Other users chimed in as well.
That’s gotta be illegal, right?
— The Goat (@Everylastgoat) April 19, 2021
“Larger Meaning”. Wait, what?
— Marcus B Volz (@MarcusVolz) April 19, 2021
So gonna end up winning a appeal because of this shit
— Nathan B (@NathanBTO) April 20, 2021
The media did back flips to protect the “whistleblower” in Trump’s first impeachment but are going to out the jurors here? Shame on them.
— Jack Raia (@jackraia33) April 19, 2021
I thought the judge put a gag order to the media on behalf of the jurors’ protection. #DerekChauvinTrial
— TexasPatriot (@menageriecntrl) April 19, 2021
Pretty soon no one will want to be a law enforcement agent. No one will want to be a juror. The nation will fall into even further despair. I suggest every1 be prepared to defend themselves when hell breaks loose. We have no one to count on but ourselves and hopefully neighbors.
— Lisbeth Salander (@AshesandEmber) April 19, 2021
In late March, The New York Times was similarly dragged after appearing to try and dox jurors with a story hawking “What We Know” about the anonymous jurors.
“The 12 jury members and two alternates in the Derek Chauvin trial remain anonymous, and their faces can’t be shown on camera. Here’s what we do know about them,” the paper said in a tweet.
In addition, on Monday the trial judge, Peter Cahill, railed against American politicians who have been publicly commenting on the trial after Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Saturday traveled to Minneapolis and called for protesters to remain in the streets if jurors did not return a guilty verdict of murder.