The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murder and sentenced to more than 22 years in prison last year.
Former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd appealed his murder convictionarguing that the jury was intimidated by the ongoing protests and harmed by excessive pre-trial publicity, among other things.
Derek Chauvin’s attorneys asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals in a court filing earlier this week to overturn his conviction, reverse the decision and order a new trial in a new location, or a new sentence.
A Minneapolis jury last year found Chauvin guilty of murder in the murder of Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in 2020 sparked protests across the country demanding an end to police brutality and anti-black racism.
a judge later sentenced the former officer to 22.5 years in prison. Chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, as the 46-year-old repeatedly pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
This week, Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, filed a series of challenges to his conviction, including his long-standing argument that the trial should not have been held in Hennepin County, where Floyd was killed.
“Overwhelming media coverage exposed jurors, literally every day, to news that demonized Chauvin and glorified Floyd, which was more than enough to presume bias,” the brief said.
Mohrman said several potential jurors expressed concern during jury selection that if Chauvin were acquitted, they would fear for his personal safety and would be worried about more violence. He said that several of them indicated that they were intimidated by the security measures put in place in court to protect trial participants from protesters.
The filing also cited the fatal shooting of daunte wright by a police officer at the nearby Brooklyn Center during Chauvin’s trial. He said the jurors should have been sequestered after selection to avoid bias from reports of that murder.
also quoted a $27 million deal reached between the city and Floyd’s family that was announced during jury selection, telling the time of jury bias in the case.
Mohrman pointed to several instances of alleged prosecutorial misconduct, alleging untimely sharing of evidence, failure to disclose, and government dumping of documents.
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 sentencing factor for the former police officer.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has 45 days to respond to Chauvin’s brief.
The presentation came days later. a state investigation that began after Floyd’s death concluded that Minneapolis police had engaged in an unlawful “pattern or practice” of racial discrimination.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights said in its 75-page report Wednesday that Minneapolis police arrest and use force against people of color, particularly black people, more often than against white people in similar settings.
Minneapolis police use covert social media to police Black people and Black organizations that aren’t connected to any criminal activity, it found, while also consistently using racist, misogynistic and disrespectful language.
Officers and supervisors receive poor training that emphasizes a paramilitary approach, and there is a lack of accountability for officers who engage in misconduct, the report also says.