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Derek Chauvin Trial: How many members of the jury have been appointed?

The trial of the former police officer charged with the unlawful killing of George Floyd is expected to start in late-March and juror selection has already begun.

Derek Chauvin Trial: How many members of the jury have been appointed?

Jury selection has begun for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer who is charged with the unlawful killing of George Floyd.

The death of the unarmed black man was the catalyst for the Black Lives Matter protests last summer and spawned worldwide calls for justice. Footage of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck circulated widely online and Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe spawned the “I can’t breathe” rallying cry of the BLM movement.

Given the nature of the crime and the following conversations that it sparked, jury selection has been a particularly delicate decision and to date only five people have been chosen. The selection process began at the Hennepin County Government Center on Tuesday and will see a total of 12 jurors and two alternatives selected.

Who are the jurors for the trial of Derek Chauvin?

Although the identities of the jurors for the trial will understandably be kept anonymous, authorities have released some details of those who have been selected so far. We know that all jurors come from Hennepin County, which Census data shows is around 74% White and 14% Black.

The first juror selected was a White man who works as a chemist, is aged between 20 and 40 and said during the selection process that he has an analytical mind.

The second juror selected was a woman of colour who courtroom reporters observed to be of around the same age as the first juror. In the course of the 16-page survey that all prospective jurors signed, she said she was "super excited" to have been involved.

The third juror selected was a White man in his 30s who works as an auditor.

The fourth juror was a White man around the age of 40 who said he had a "very favourable" view of the Black Lives Matter movement. During the course of selection he also said he believed police are likely to be more truthful than other witnesses.

The fifth juror selected was a Black man aged between 30 and 50 who works in information technology. He moved to the United States 14 years ago, said that he strongly disagreed with defunding the police, and that the police make him feel safe. He also said that he had a "somewhat negative" opinion of Chauvin.

Juror selection will be a difficult process

The five jurors selected so far have been approved by both sets of legal teams, but there are another 15 prospective members who have been vetoed by one or both sides. Both the defence and the prosecution are allowed to ask the court to dismiss a juror for cause if they believe they cannot be impartial in the case.

Attorneys can also dismiss prospective jurors without cause using what's called a peremptory challenge, but these are limited. The defence can use 15 of these challenges and the prosecution has up to nine refusals. However they can be overruled using a Batson challenge, if it is ruled that the decision is based on race, ethnicity or sex.

For example, on Wednesday the defence used peremptory strikes to remove a Hispanic woman on the basis that she said her English was not good enough for the trial. The prosecution used the Batson challenge to argue that the strike was race-based, but the judge ruled in favour of the defence.