A White executive who has discussed privilege with her Black co-worker. A Black immigrant who watched a video of George Floyd’s death, then told his wife, “It could have been me.” A multiracial woman who sees police officers as humans who sometimes “make mistakes.”

These are some of the dozen jurors who will decide whether former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin broke the law when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while the Black man gasped, “I can’t breathe.”

Two weeks of jury selection in Chauvin’s murder trial recently whittled a pool of more than 300 potential jurors down to 12 with three alternates, one of whom is expected to be released Monday. There are one Black woman, two multiracial women, three White men, three Black men and six White women. Seven are under 40 years old.

The jurors are tasked with deciding one of the highest-profile cases in recent memory, set to begin Monday in a downtown courtroom a few miles from where Floyd was filmed facedown on a Minneapolis street. Their decision will reverberate across the country, setting off renewed debates about race, policing and accountability.

“What’s happening in this trial is not just a statement or a judgment on the criminal process in Hennepin County, Minnesota,” said Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe, a law professor at University of California at Davis. “There are people all over the nation, all over the world, that are looking at this to get a sense of how much they can believe in our system of justice.”

Because the case is so high-profile, the jurors will be cloaked in anonymity, shielded from public view and shuttled to and from Courtroom 1856 under armed guard. Once deliberations start, and possibly sooner, the group will be sequestered from the public.

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Under court order, very little information about the jurors has been made public, besides their race, gender, age range and audio of their interviews during jury selection. The juror descriptions included here have been pulled from this publicly available information.

Choosing a jury in a high-profile case presents an unusual challenge, according to attorneys and legal experts.

Prospective jurors are already loaded with information about what happened, which can make it hard to find people who appear open to hearing the facts in court and changing their minds.

“Unless you’re living under a rock, there’s no one in Minneapolis, and probably no one in the United States, who’s not familiar with George Floyd’s death,” said Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University. “You want people who have heard of the case but are willing to put aside any preexisting biases or any initial opinions about guilt or innocence.”

But knowledge of the case is not a dealbreaker, experts said. “You’re looking for a fair and impartial jury, not an oblivious jury,” Medwed said.

In Chauvin’s case, the jury selection process began months before the potential jurors started answering questions in court; the jury pool received an extensive 16-page questionnaire in the mail in December.

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Potential jurors were asked whether they had seen the video of Floyd’s death and, if so, how many times. They were quizzed on their media consumption and asked whether they marched in protests after Floyd died, and, if so, whether they carried signs.

Although that level of scrutiny is not typical in most jury trials, experts say, preemptive questionnaires have been used in prominent cases, including the Boston Marathon bombing case and the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting trial, in an attempt to weed people out.

Jury selection for the Chauvin trial began in early March. One at a time, potential jurors were quizzed by the judge and attorneys.

Their answers were highlighted and dissected, with each side looking for evidence of bias. Some jurors were questioned for less than 10 minutes, others closer to an hour. Each side was allotted peremptory challenges, allowing them to dismiss potential jurors without cause. Chauvin’s defense used 14 of its 18 strikes. Prosecutors were given 10 and used eight. Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill, who is overseeing the case, had the unlimited ability to dismiss jurors for cause.

One woman said during jury selection that she had marched and carried a sign. A short time later, Chauvin’s defense struck her from the jury.

These prospective jurors were asked about their experiences with police and their views on the justice system, including whether they supported defunding the police, had ever seen police use excessive force or believed that officers treat White and Black people equally.

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Jurors were pressed on their views of Chauvin, with most saying they had a “negative” view of the former officer based on the video they had seen of Floyd’s death. But Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, looked for those who said they did not know all the facts of the case and could put their opinions aside. “You agree there are two sides to every story?” Nelson asked one woman. “Would you be able to keep your mind open until you hear both sides?”

Attorneys also interrogated jurors about their views of Floyd, with prosecutors trying to gauge whether someone could be empathetic to his behavior at the scene. Jurors were asked whether they knew anyone who had abused drugs. Special prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked several jurors whether they believed someone truly unable to breathe would be able to speak.

Picking the jury “is probably the most critical part of the case,” said Stew Mathews, an attorney who has represented officers in high-profile cases, including the Samuel DuBose shooting in Cincinnati and Breonna Taylor’s death in Louisville, Ky.

“It’s a gut feeling,” Mathews said. “You talk with the people . . . and those who provide responses that you feel are favorable to your position or, at the very worst, neutral, are people that you’re willing to put on your jury.”

Chauvin’s trial will unfold under a microscope. And it will be visible, in large part, to anyone who wants to watch.

In a nod to both the coronavirus pandemic and the heightened public interest, the judge is limiting seating in the courtroom but allowing the proceedings to be televised – the first time a Minnesota judge has authorized cameras to show a full criminal trial. Jurors will be blocked from the cameras’ view; audio of their remarks during jury selection were broadcast online.

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During jury selection, Cahill told prospective jurors that at some point, their names will be released, when he decides it is safe to do so. Several jurors told him that they were concerned about safety, pointing to the potential of civil unrest or anger over the verdict.

“Someone who might be completely comfortable sitting on most cases in a jury trial may be completely uncomfortable because of the public attention,” said Carmen Ortiz, who, as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, oversaw the Boston Marathon bombing prosecution.

Demographics of the jury will be scrutinized, particularly because this case involves issues of race and policing. Prosecutors have struggled to convict police officers charged in high-profile killings, and the racial makeup of the juries have been criticized and highlighted.

“Having the jury be diverse will be really important in people’s sense of the legitimacy of the process,” said Joe, the law professor. “It’s important to think through who the jurors are, what their beliefs are, what their experiences are and the degree to which they’ve excluded jurors who have seen or believe there is systemic racial bias in the system.”

After both sides rest in the Chauvin case, the jury will take its instructions back to a secluded room to deliberate. How these jurors handle disagreements was raised during the selection process.

One juror was asked to promise not to use her own experiences in making a decision. The juror is a registered nurse who had worked with intensive care and cardiac patients. This background could prove relevant because Chauvin’s defense has said Floyd’s poor health and drug use, not the police officer’s use of force, was what killed him.

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During questioning, the nurse said she could put her training aside to be impartial. But selecting an expert for the panel stood out to some of the legal experts interviewed for this article.

“When you’re picking a jury, you do want to be cautious about putting people on the jury that other jurors might defer to, that they might defer to their experience in trying to figure out an answer to whatever question they have,” Joe said.

Even with such a spotlight on this case, the jurors’ deliberations will be conducted in private. Everything other than the outcome will remain secret unless the jurors decide to talk to the public or attorneys involved after things wrap up.

It’s the nature of jury trials, where much of the case unfolds in public view, particularly things such as how evidence is presented, testimony given and instructions delivered to jurors, said Medwed.

“Transparency is the coin of the realm in the trial,” Medwed said, “but transparency has no currency in the deliberation room.”

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Juror 9 – multiracial woman, 20s

She grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota and has an uncle who is a police officer in Brainerd, Minn. She was “excited” to get a summons in this case, which “everyone’s heard about, everyone’s talked about and everyone’s going to talk about long after the trial is over.”

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She grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota and has an uncle who is a police officer in Brainerd, Minn. She was “excited” to get a summons in this case, which “everyone’s heard about, everyone’s talked about and everyone’s going to talk about long after the trial is over.”

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Juror 92 – White woman, 40s

White people are favored by the justice system, she says, and she strongly disagrees with defunding the police. She said media coverage of Chauvin depicted him as “an aggressive cop with tax problems,” which drew a laugh from the former officer’s attorney.

White people are favored by the justice system, she says, and she strongly disagrees with defunding the police. She said media coverage of Chauvin depicted him as “an aggressive cop with tax problems,” which drew a laugh from the former officer’s attorney.

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Juror 27 – Black man, 30s

An immigrant who came to the United States more than a decade ago, he once lived near where Floyd was killed. The man said a friend showed him the video of Floyd’s death; afterward, he told his wife: “It could have been me.”

An immigrant who came to the United States more than a decade ago, he once lived near where Floyd was killed. The man said a friend showed him the video of Floyd’s death; afterward, he told his wife: “It could have been me.”

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Jurur 91 – Black woman, 60s

A grandmother originally from South Minneapolis, she says she has a relative on the city’s police force, but they are not close. She expressed a positive view of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying: “I am Black. My life matters.”

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A grandmother originally from South Minneapolis, she says she has a relative on the city’s police force, but they are not close. She expressed a positive view of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying: “I am Black. My life matters.”

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Juror 44 – White woman, 50s

An executive at a nonprofit health-care advocacy group and a single mother to two teenage boys, the juror said she discussed White privilege with a Black co-worker. The co-worker’s son is the same age as the juror’s older teenager. “But my White son, if he gets pulled over, doesn’t have to have fear.”

An executive at a nonprofit health-care advocacy group and a single mother to two teenage boys, the juror said she discussed White privilege with a Black co-worker. The co-worker’s son is the same age as the juror’s older teenager. “But my White son, if he gets pulled over, doesn’t have to have fear.”

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Juror 52 – Black man, 30s

He has not seen the video of Floyd’s death in full and wonders why the other officers on the scene did not stop Chauvin. He expressed mixed views on police, saying he once saw them “body-slam then Mace an individual simply because they did not obey an order quick enough.” But he knows other police officers from his gym and called them “great guys.”

He has not seen the video of Floyd’s death in full and wonders why the other officers on the scene did not stop Chauvin. He expressed mixed views on police, saying he once saw them “body-slam then Mace an individual simply because they did not obey an order quick enough.” But he knows other police officers from his gym and called them “great guys.”

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Juror 79 Black man, 40s

An immigrant who has been in the Twin Cities for about 20 years, he now lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis. He says his view of Chauvin is “neutral” and wants to hear more of his side before making a judgment.

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An immigrant who has been in the Twin Cities for about 20 years, he now lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis. He says his view of Chauvin is “neutral” and wants to hear more of his side before making a judgment.

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Juror 118 – White woman, 20s

A newlywed social worker, she asked about Chauvin: “Was that his training to do that?” She says things in policing should be changed but strongly opposes cutting police funding.

A newlywed social worker, she asked about Chauvin: “Was that his training to do that?” She says things in policing should be changed but strongly opposes cutting police funding.

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Juror 131 – White man, 20s

A married accountant, he questioned why four police officers responded to a 911 call about a counterfeit $20 bill. He also was critical of professional athletes who knelt during the national anthem.

A married accountant, he questioned why four police officers responded to a 911 call about a counterfeit $20 bill. He also was critical of professional athletes who knelt during the national anthem.

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Juror 2 – White man, 20s

The first juror seated said he never watched the video of Floyd’s death, but he saw an image of Chauvin on top of him. He described himself as willing to change his mind on issues.

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The first juror seated said he never watched the video of Floyd’s death, but he saw an image of Chauvin on top of him. He described himself as willing to change his mind on issues.

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Juror 96 – White woman, 50s

She said the video might not show the entirety of what happened, calling it “a snippet.” She also said Chauvin “took a different role in the situation than the other officers” who were there.

She said the video might not show the entirety of what happened, calling it “a snippet.” She also said Chauvin “took a different role in the situation than the other officers” who were there.

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Juror 85 – multiracial woman, 40s

A self-described “working mom and wife,” she described police officers as humans who “can make mistakes.” She also agreed that people who do not listen to the police have themselves to blame for negative outcomes, saying: “You respect police and do what they ask.”

A self-described “working mom and wife,” she described police officers as humans who “can make mistakes.” She also agreed that people who do not listen to the police have themselves to blame for negative outcomes, saying: “You respect police and do what they ask.”

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Juror 2 – White woman, 50s

A single mother of two who rides motorcycles in her spare time, she described being scared by the unrest that gripped Minneapolis last year. She also mentioned seeing officers confront an unarmed White teenager last summer, calling it “harassment” and saying that when she tried to intervene, an officer ordered her to stay back.

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A single mother of two who rides motorcycles in her spare time, she described being scared by the unrest that gripped Minneapolis last year. She also mentioned seeing officers confront an unarmed White teenager last summer, calling it “harassment” and saying that when she tried to intervene, an officer ordered her to stay back.

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Juror 18 – White man, 30s

A corporate auditor, he said that a “friend of a friend” works for the Minneapolis police but that they had not discussed the case. If there are conflicts in the jury room, he said he would reexamine his views, but “if I still felt that my viewpoint was the one that I believed in, I think I’d stand by that viewpoint.”

A corporate auditor, he said that a “friend of a friend” works for the Minneapolis police but that they had not discussed the case. If there are conflicts in the jury room, he said he would reexamine his views, but “if I still felt that my viewpoint was the one that I believed in, I think I’d stand by that viewpoint.”

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Juror 85 – White woman, 50s

A registered nurse who works with ventilated patients, her medical training was highlighted during the questioning process.

A registered nurse who works with ventilated patients, her medical training was highlighted during the questioning process.

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Bailey reported from Minneapolis.