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OAKLAND — The Alameda County jury that will weigh the second “Riders” cop misconduct trial has strong views about police officers, lawsuits and how poor people fare in the justice system. And, unlike the previous jury, the new one includes African-Americans on the main panel. Six men and six women were chosen earlier this week. Four are white, four Asian, three African-American and one is Latino. The two sides continue to sift through potential alternates. Several of the jurors said during voir dire that they believe police are more aggressive in poor neighborhoods. Others said they frown on civil litigation regarding police misconduct. The panel includes one relative of a police officer and an employee of the Bar Association of San Francisco. The jurors will decide the fates of three fired Oakland police officers who are being retried for criminal misconduct. Clarence Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung are accused of breaking the law to crack down on West Oakland drug-dealing, and of doctoring police reports to cover their trail. One year ago, another jury acquitted the officers of eight crimes and deadlocked on the other 27 after a yearlong trial. Afterward, the racial composition of the first jury became a heated topic. Some faulted the prosecutor who handled the first trial for not putting African-Americans on the jury �� blacks served only as alternates. Most of the victims who testified in the first case were black. Assistant DA Terry Wiley, who is handling the retrial, pledged that the second jury would be more diverse. During jury selection, several panelists voiced opinions that would have made a criminal defense attorney’s blood run cold. One young Filipina juror wrote in her questionnaire that she was afraid of large African-American men. On Monday, Wiley asked her to explain her answer in court. Wiley, who is black, joked, “Well, some people think I’m big.” The woman and other court spectators chuckled. The woman quickly added that she was mostly concerned when she was walking at night. Being in court would not be a problem, she said. She made it onto the panel. Some jurors told lawyers that they were leery of civil lawsuits, including one woman who said police misconduct victims shouldn’t be allowed to file suits. The city of Oakland agreed to pay more than $11 million to victims who filed federal civil rights suits regarding the Riders and other police officers. Some of those victims are expected to testify during the criminal trial. The jury as a whole could not be characterized as either pro-defense or pro-prosecution. Indeed, jurors expressed strong opinions that could be helpful for either side. One juror, who said he worked for BASF, declared that he was a strong supporter of citizen police review boards. One African-American juror recalled an incident in which she saw a police officer jump out of a car and punch a man. Another black juror said he has a relative who is a cop. He also recounted how an officer stopped and searched his car when his vehicle broke down on the road. A few jurors said they believe that police are more aggressive in poor neighborhoods. Nearly all of the jurors had been exposed to some news about the first Riders trial. However, they all said they could evaluate the retrial with an open mind. Oakland attorney John Burris, who was critical of the lack of blacks on the first jury, said he was pleased to hear of the new jury’s racial mix. The panel is representative of the victims in the case as well as the defendants, who are Asian and white. Black jurors have a “historical reference to evaluate the conduct,” said Burris, who helped represent some Riders victims in the civil cases. “Victims in the case will not be painted with a broad, stereotypical brush.” The panel was selected based on exhaustive jury questionnaires and answers that prospective jurors gave in open court. Underscoring the high stakes in the case, both the prosecution and defense used jury consultants. The Alameda County DA’s office �� which traditionally eschews such advisers �� hired Karen Jo Koonan of the National Jury Project. Karen Fleming-Ginn of Verdix Jury Consulting Inc. advised the defense team, which is led by Pleasant Hill attorney Michael Rains. Both sides appeared to use few peremptory challenges. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner excused a handful of jurors after he conferred with lawyers in chambers. In court, the DA booted one potential juror, while the defense declined to remove anyone. Jurors have been told that the retrial will take six months. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday.

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