The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is being blasted online for releasing biographical information of all twelve jurors plus two alternates in the Derek Chauvin trial in the killing of George Floyd.
Without naming the jurors, reporters Paul Walsh and Hannah Sayle on Tuesday published enough details about their lives, internet sleuths and local snoops may be able to figure out who they are.
Walsh is a general assignment reporter at the Star-Tribune, and Sayle is a digital features editor. Online critics are accusing the paper of trying to intimidate the jurors into reaching a guilty verdict.
The reporters provided general information about the jurors’ ages, race, professions, where they’re from, and where they went to school. They even leaked that one juror is related to an area police officer.
Abby Simone, the “public safety” editor for the Star-Tribune, shared the story on Twitter.
“Why does the “public safety editor” think it’s ok to publish enough information to identify these jurors?” asked one Twitter user.
Why does the “public safety editor” think it’s ok to publish enough information to identify these jurors?
— NH (@TwoQuoque) April 20, 2021
Some Twitter users like former Trump Campaign advisor Steve Cortes and conservative journalist Rachel Bovard argued that the article was clearly designed to intimidate the jury.
Pure intimidation tactics.
The corporate media is the enemy of the people. https://t.co/gBZer2bUdu
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) April 20, 2021
This is jury intimidation. https://t.co/Ci3iKIrF0c
— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) April 20, 2021
“Why are you making it easier to dox, harass, and threaten jurors?” asked Geoffrey Miller, a psychology professor. “Do you want the mob to come for them? Do you have no journalistic integrity?”
“This is juror intimidation and this trial has been destroyed,” tweeted actor Nick Searcy.
“I’m not sure the reason for this other than intimidation. Imagine being a family member of one of these jurors and the fear they must feel even before a verdict is given. Just a vile thing to play into,” tweeted Papa de Stevie.
Others worried that jurors who are doxed could be harmed by a social justice mob.
“Holy crap. ARE YOU INSANE? When one of these juror dies at the hands of an angry mob, I hope you’re willing to take responsibility for your part in doxxing them.
This is despicable,” said @junebotprolly.
Conservative commentator Kira Davis pointed out Twitter’s hypocrisy for allowing the Star-Tribune’s tweet while banning tweets linking to stories about Black Lives Matter magnate Patrice Cullors’ houses.
“What in the absolute f***? But outlets are being banned from sharing the #patricecullors story bc the name of the town she bought a house included?” Davis tweeted. “@TwitterSafety this seems rather UNSAFE, according to your rules.”
Newsmax host Heather Childers tweeted out a question to “legal minded experts” on the platform. “How is this allowed?” she asked. “Clearly enough information to identify the jurors in the Chauvin trial. Could this not be used as juror intimidation? Does this add to grounds for appeal, etc?”
Countless Twitter users echoed former President Trump’s assertion that the media is “the enemy of the people.”
And one conservative commentator promised retribution.
I will track down and publish the information of any journalist who doxxes one of those jurors. That’s a promise.
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) April 20, 2021