Derek Chauvin asks for new trial after Floyd murder conviction | Black Lives Matter News


Ex-police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes was found guilty last month of murder and manslaughter.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has requested a new trial, two weeks after he was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.

In a series of motions filed to District Court Judge Peter Cahill on Tuesday, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, said the ex-officer was deprived of a fair trial.

Nelson said there was prosecutorial and jury misconduct, errors of law at trial and that the verdict was contrary to law.

“The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings,” the lawyer wrote in the motion, as reported by CNN.

Floyd’s murder was captured on camera and led to mass protests across the United States and around the world, with thousands taking to the streets to demand an end to police violence and racial injustice.

Chauvin, who was filmed on May 25 last year with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, faces at least 75 years in prison – and potentially more if the judge finds aggravating factors sought by the prosecution. His sentencing has been set for June.

During the trial, Nelson had argued that the jurors could be influenced by the news surrounding the trial, including comments by politicians on what might happen as a result of the verdict.

Judge Cahill had rejected those arguments but asked jurors to avoid watching the news. The jury was sequestered after the closing arguments were made in the case.

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, said Chauvin’s lawyer is contending that there were multiple problems with the trial, including that the judge refused to move the venue from Minneapolis.

The lawyer also asserted that there was jury misconduct, as one of the jurors reportedly attended a rally in the US capital to commemorate Floyd, Hanna said.

“Now it’s up to the Minneapolis District Court to decide whether or not to proceed with this complaint, or to investigate it further,” he reported.

Hanna added that an appeal was not unexpected, but said “this is such a high profile case that inflamed so many emotions, that any attempt to try and knock down this verdict is going to be met with deep public concern”.

Prosecutors last week had asked the judge overseeing the case against Chauvin to consider several aggravating circumstances when he sentences the former police officer.

State of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and lead prosecutor Matthew Frank said that Chauvin deserves a sentence stiffer than the state guidelines dictate because he held a position of authority and treated Floyd, a vulnerable victim, with cruelty.

The “defendant’s actions inflicted gratuitous pain, and caused psychological distress to Mr. Floyd and to the bystanders”, the prosecutors wrote, adding that Chauvin made “no attempt” to give Floyd medical attention.

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