Derek Chauvin Appeals His Conviction For George Floyd’s Murder, Asks For New Trial
Nearly a year after he was convicted of murdering George Floyd, former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin has filed an appeal hoping to overturn the jury’s verdict and reduce his sentence.
Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin last June to 22 1/2 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, after he was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Derek Chauvin, 46, is now asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn the jury’s verdict and take one of three actions: toss his conviction and send his case back to Hennepin County; reverse the result and order a new trial in a new venue; or order Chauvin to be sentenced to a lesser punishment.
In court documents filed this week, Derek Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, laid out a number of challenges to his conviction, including insisting that Judge Cahill should have moved the trial to another venue due to massive press coverage. Mohrman also said witnesses weren’t properly handled and jurors were intimidated by protests and security measures. He also alleges that prosecutorial misconduct and other factors prevented Chauvin from getting a fair trial in the popularized case.
Chauvin’s attorneys say Cahill didn’t apply the sentencing guidelines correctly. They argue, that the judge shouldn’t have included abuse of a position of authority as an aggravating factor in Floyd’s murder.
This appeal comes just days after the state of Minnesota issued a report criticizing the Minneapolis Police Department for a
“pattern or practice of race discrimination in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.”
The report released Wednesday (Apr. 27) by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights followed a nearly two-year investigation into the police department shortly after George Floyd’s killing. According to the report, the agency and the city will negotiate a court-enforceable agreement to address the long list of problems identified in the report, with input from residents, officers, city staff and others.
The report claims police department data,
“demonstrates significant racial disparities with respect to officers’ use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests.”
It also said officers,
“used covert social media to surveil Black individuals and Black organizations, unrelated to criminal activity, and maintain an organizational culture where some officers and supervisors use racist, misogynistic, and disrespectful language with impunity.”
As previously reported, on May 25, 2020, Derek Chauvin responded to a call about the possible use of a counterfeit $20 bill at a local grocery store. George Floyd was accused of using the bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes. The police officer buried his knee into George’s neck, eventually resulting in his death. The incident was captured on multiple cell phone recordings. In 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of murder and manslaughter.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!