Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin has asked a Minnesota court to appeal his April 2021 conviction for the murder of George Floyd.
Attorney William Mohrman argued in an 83-page document filed with the state Court of Appeals that tensions in the wake of Floyd’s 2020 slaying made it impossible for Chauvin to get a fair trial. As a remedy, they seek to reverse Chauvin’s conviction and grant him a new trial out of Hennepin County or return the case to a lower court for sentencing.
Chauvin’s legal team also claimed that the city of Minneapolis paying Floyd’s family $27 million — an announcement that coincided with jury selection — also compromised Chauvin’s trial. Two sitting jurors were dismissed after the settlement was reached, as they admitted to being aware of the payout.
In April 2021, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, a state charge, and was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. In December 2021, he pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights and the rights of a 14-year-old boy he struck with a flashlight and knelt on during a 2017 arrest.
In February of this year, the three other former Minneapolis police officers who responded to the May 2020 call, Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, were convicted of using the “color of law” to violate Floyd’s civil rights. The trio is still awaiting trial for aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. That trial is scheduled to begin on June 13.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/police handout and George Floyd/Facebook]