Alternate Chauvin juror says she would have found him guilty too

Alternate Chauvin juror who was on standby during the trial reveals her identity to say she would have convicted him too based on evidence from medical expert

  • Lisa Christensen was selected as an alternate juror for the Derek Chauvin trial 
  • She sat through it, listening to the evidence, ready to step in if any of the 12 jurors could no longer serve
  • She spoke out on CBS This Morning; she is the first juror to identify themselves 
  • She said she would have convicted Chauvin on all three counts too 
  • Christensen said Chauvin stared at her during the trial and they ‘locked eyes’ which made her uncomfortable

An alternate juror who was on standby during Derek Chauvin’s trial said on Thursday that she would have convicted him too if she’d been called to serve. 

Lisa Christensen sat through the trial, ready to step in, along with one other alternate juror who had been selected. She is the first of any of the jurors to reveal their identities. 

In an interview with CBS This Morning, she said that she would have convicted Chauvin too. 

She added it was the testimony of prosecution witness Dr. Martin Tobin, who explained how Floyd was starved of breath, that sealed her decision.   

‘I felt he was guilty. I didn’t know if it was going to be guilty on all counts, but I would have said guilty.

Lisa Christensen sat through the trial, ready to step in, along with one other alternate juror who had been selected. She is the first of any of the jurors to reveal their identities. In an interview with CBS This Morning, she said that she would have convicted Chauvin too.

Chauvin, 45, was by far the most senior officer at the scene. Prosecutors said he pinned Floyd to the pavement outside Cup Foods, where Floyd had been accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, for 9 minutes, 29 seconds. Three other officers, since fired, face trial in August.

‘I felt like he was the leader, and the other officers were following his lead,’ 

‘I kind of felt like he wasn´t taking the warnings seriously obviously, kind of like, `I know what I´m doing.´’

Christensen described her impressions of Chauvin.

‘Every time I would look up, he was right in my vision,’ she said. ‘So we locked eyes quite a few times and I was pretty uncomfortable.’

Prosecutors played a wide range of videos for the jury, including teenager Darnella Frazier’s bystander video that was seen worldwide in the hours after Floyd’s death. 

That video and the officers’ body camera video captured bystanders shouting at Chauvin and the other officers to get off Floyd, warning that they were cutting off his breathing and asking them to check for a pulse.

Christensen said she felt prosecutors ‘made a really good, strong argument’ and credited Dr. Martin Tobin, one of their medical experts, for his testimony on how Floyd’s breathing was cut off by the restraint.

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens as the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis

Chicago-based breathing expert Dr. Martin Tobin answers questions during the fourteenth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin 

‘Dr. Tobin was the one that really did it for me. He explained everything to me, I understood it, down to where he said, `This was the moment where he lost his life.´ Really got to me.’

Christensen was critical of the defense, saying attorney Eric Nelson ‘ overpromised in the beginning and didn’t live up to what he said he was going to do.’

Nelson argued that Floyd died due to his use of drugs and to heart issues. 

He also argued that videos were deceptive, that Chauvin’s knee wasn’t on Floyd’s neck as long as prosecutors said and that an autopsy found no evidence of damage to his neck. 

And he sought to portray the concerned bystanders as a threatening crowd that distracted officers.

Nelson has not commented since the verdicts and didn’t immediately respond to a message Thursday.

Christensen praised Frazier for shooting the video, saying without it she didn’t think the case would have been possible.

‘I just don´t understand how it got from a counterfeit $20 bill to a death,’ she said. ‘It kind of shocks me.’

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