The former Minneapolis police office convicted of killing George Floyd in May 2020 filed an appeal on Thursday.
Derek Chauvin filed the appeal on the last day he could have done so, 90 days after his June 25 sentencing, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after he was captured on video with his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison. He is also facing federal charges in Floyd’s death and a similar case involving a 14-year-old boy. He pleaded not guilty last week.
The appeal names 14 issues with the trial, including “prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” and issues with the jury. It also claims Judge Peter Cahill’s court “abused its discretion” by denying a motion for a venue change, refusing to sequester the jury, not allowing defense attorneys to strike “clearly biased jurors,” and refusing a motion for a new trial over “juror misconduct.”
Chauvin further claims that Cahill should have forced Morries Hall, Floyd’s passenger on the day Chauvin killed him, to testify even though Hall had invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.
Included in the appeal. Chauvin asked that a denial of his request for a public defender be overturned. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s legal defense fund paid for this defense throughout the initial trial, the appeal says, but the fund will not pay for an appeal in state court after a conviction and he cannot afford to pay himself. The attorney who represented him during the trial, Eric Nelson, is still his lawyer for the federal charges.
Late Thursday night, Cahil granted Chauvin “pauper status,” exempting him from paying court costs and filing fees, CBS News reported.
Three other former police officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — have been charged with aiding and abetting as well as similar federal charges. Their state trial has been delayed until March 2022, and a date has not been set for the federal trial.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/Minnesota Department of Corrections]