Poll: Majority of Black Americans Say Politics at Least ‘Somewhat’ Influenced Derek Chauvin Verdict

People march following the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. - Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted on April 20 of murdering African-American George Floyd after a racially charged trial that was seen as a pivotal test …
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A majority of Americans, including a majority of black Americans, believe politics at least “somewhat” influenced the outcome of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial, although a majority also agree with the verdict, a Rasmussen Reports survey released this week revealed.

The survey, taken April 21-22 among 1,000 American adults, asked respondents to gauge how much politics influenced the outcome of Chauvin’s trial.

Fifty-eight percent said politics influenced the outcome either “a lot” (38 percent) or “somewhat” (20 percent), compared to 19 percent who said “not much” and 15 percent who said “not at all.” Fifty-three percent of Republicans said politics influenced the outcome “a lot,” compared to 24 percent of Democrats who said the same. Notably, 57 percent of black Americans said politics influenced the decision to some degree, 36 percent saying “a lot” and 21 percent saying “somewhat.”

Nevertheless, a majority either “strongly” (46 percent) or “somewhat” (24 percent) agree with Chauvin’s verdict. He was found guilty on all three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

A majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents at least “somewhat” agree with the guilty verdict, as do a majority of black, white, and other non-white voters, the survey found.

Ultimately, 38 percent believe the verdict will not have much overall impact on race relations in the U.S., but 31 percent believe it will make it “worse,” and 21 percent believe it will make it “better.”

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

Brooklyn Center resident Lisa Christensen, who served as an alternate juror in Chauvin’s trial, said she initially had “mixed feelings” about the possibility of being a juror, telling KARE 11’s Lou Raguse she was “concerned about people coming to [her] house if they were not happy with the verdict.” However, she said she would have ultimately voted guilty “on some level.”

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