Pop singing star Gloria Estefan was excused yesterday from a Miami jury hearing a police corruption case. The Miami Herald said that Estefan, 46, was the only potential juror who brought along a personal bodyguard. The case is the retrial of four Miami officers charged with violating the civil rights of a career criminal beaten during an arrest seven years ago.
Prosecutors failed to persuade the judge to strike the singer from the jury because her presence would create a “circus” atmosphere. They later used a peremptory strike to excuse her.
Estefan agreed. “If I were a defendant in a trial, I wouldn’t want a celebrity on the jury,” she said during juror questioning, explaining that star-struck jurors might go along with her even if they didn’t agree with her.
Three of the four officers in the beating case were involved in last year’s major police scandal, in which officers were accused of planting guns on suspects to cover up wrongful shootings. Opening arguments are set for today.
Estefan spent much of her day in courthouse corridors, signing autographs and chatting with jury-pool members while they waited to be called.