Trial consultant: Jury selection in Eriese Tisdale case may be d - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Trial consultant: Jury selection in Eriese Tisdale case may be difficult

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - Tuesday was day one of jury selection in the Eriese Tisdale murder trial. Tisdale is accused of shooting and killing St. Lucie County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Morales.

It's a case that plays into a bigger conversation going on nationally that seems to make selecting a jury in a case like this harder to do.

"It's difficult because this is a hot issue. It's the issue du jour," said Amy Singer, a trial consultant.  

Movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter have been part of a national debate about police-community relations. Singer says that makes selecting a jury even more difficult in cases like this one.

"Do you think that black people get treated the same as white folks by police officers?" That was one of the questions Tisdale's defense attorney asked potential jurors Tuesday in jury selection.

Singer has worked on high profile cases involving Casey Anthony and Michael Jackson. She says selecting a jury for the Tisdale murder trial will not be easy.
"What we have found is that all you have to do is say African American and police officer and you're off to the races…and what you get is a lot of predisposition towards one way or the other," said Singer.
More than 250 potential jurors are expected to be questioned for the Tisdale trial, about half brought in Tuesday.

The attorneys asked questions like, "If you have the fortunate opportunity to serve on this case, that your work will be based only on what happens in his courtroom?" Or questions like, "How's does the Black Lives Matter movement, how does that make you feel?"
Dozens of prospective jurors have already been sent home, many admitting bias, like connections to law enforcement of the military.

All this in a social media world where opinions are often being shaped by trending movements, like #BlackLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter.

"They're either team people of color or team law enforcement," said Singer. "The sides have already been picked."
That is why Singer says finding jurors who can put those views aside could be tough.
Jury selection is expected to take the entire week.

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