Derek Chauvin appeals George Floyd murder conviction

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is appealing his murder conviction in the murder of George Floyd, arguing that jurors were intimidated by the ensuing protests and hampered by heavy pre-trial publicity. Chauvin asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals in a court case on Monday to overturn his conviction, reverse and arrest in a retrial at a new location, or order a new conviction.

Last June, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prison after the jurors found him guilty second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned the black man to the ground with his knee to his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd was accused of swiping a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Three other fired officers will face state trial this summer after being convicted in federal court earlier this year of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Derek Chauvin
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin makes a brief statement at his sentencing hearing for the murder of George Floyd, June 25, 2021,

CBS News/Pool

Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, filed a number of challenges to his conviction, including that the trial should not have been held in Hennepin County, where Floyd was killed.

β€œThe overwhelming media coverage exposed jurors – literally every day – to news demonizing Chauvin and glorifying Floyd, which was more than enough to presume prejudice,” the document said.

In the months following Floyd’s murder, protesters took to the streets in Minneapolis and across the country. to protest police brutality and racism. Part of this agitation was violent.

Mohrman said several potential jurors expressed concern during jury selection that if Chauvin was acquitted, they would fear for his personal safety and worried about more violence. He said several of them said they were intimidated by the security measures put in place at the courthouse to protect trial participants from protesters.

The archive also cited Daunte Wright’s fatal shot by a police officer near the Brooklyn Center, which sparked further protests during Chauvin’s trial. He says jurors should have been kidnapped after selection to avoid being harmed by reports of this murder. He also cited a $27 million settlement reached between the city and Floyd’s family that was announced during jury selection, saying the jury’s timing hurt in the case.

People gather to celebrate in George Floyd Square after the verdict was announced at the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 20, 2021.

Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Mohrman cited several cases of alleged prosecutorial misconduct, alleging untimely sharing of evidence, failure to disclose and dumping of documents by the government.

The filing also says the judge did not apply the sentencing guidelines correctly and should not have included “abuse of a position of authority” as an aggravating factor in the former officer’s conviction.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has 45 days to respond to Chauvin’s summary.

The appeal came as the Minnesota Department of Human Rights released the results of a nearly two-year investigation that began after Floyd’s murder. He found the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination for at least a decadeincluding stopping and imprisoning blacks at a greater rate than whites, using force more often against people of color, and maintaining a culture where racist language is tolerated.

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