Former police officer Derek Chauvin is appealing his conviction for the murder of George Floyd


The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the killing of George Floyd has appealed his conviction, saying among other things that the jury was intimidated by ongoing, sometimes violent, protests and harmed by excessive publicity before the trial.

Derek Chauvin on Monday asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals in a filing to overturn his conviction and order a new trial in a new location or order a new conviction.

Last June, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22½ years in prison after jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. in the second degree.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned the black man to the ground with his knee on his neck for up to 9½ minutes. Floyd had been accused of passing a counterfeit US$20 bill at a convenience store. Three other officers have also been charged in the case.

Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, presented a number of challenges to the conviction, including his longstanding argument that the trial should not have taken place in Hennepin County, where Floyd was killed.

“The overwhelming media coverage exposed jurors — literally every day — to news demonizing Chauvin and glorifying Floyd, which was more than enough to infer prejudice,” the brief states.

People raise their fists and hold a portrait of Floyd during a rally following Chauvin’s guilty verdict on April 20, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd, who was black, by pinning him to the ground while kneeling on his neck. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Some jurors worried about safety, calls for appeal

In the months since Floyd’s murder, demonstrators have taken to the streets of Minneapolis and across the country to protest police brutality and racism. Some of these disturbances were violent.

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

The filing also cites the shooting death of Daunte Wright by a nearby Brooklyn Center police officer during Chauvin’s trial. He says the jurors should have been sequestered after the selection to avoid being harmed by reports of this murder. He also cited a US$27 million settlement reached between the city and Floyd’s family that was announced during jury selection, indicating the biased jurors’ timing in the case.

Mohrman cited several instances of alleged Crown misconduct, alleging improper sharing of evidence, failure to disclose and dumping of documents by the government.

The filing also says the judge failed to properly apply sentencing guidelines and should not have included “abuse of a position of authority” as an aggravating factor in sentencing for the former policeman.

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

The call came as the Minnesota Department of Human Rights released the results of a nearly two-year investigation launched after Floyd’s death. He revealed that the Minneapolis Police Department has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination for at least a decade, including stopping and arresting black people at a higher rate than white people, using force more often on people of color and maintaining a culture where racist language is tolerated.