Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is appealing his conviction in the wrongful death of George Floyd prior to the 90-day deadline on Thursday and has surprisingly decided to defend himself in the matter.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison last April for third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for a prolonged period of time during his arrest in May 2020. The jury ruled that his actions contributed to the death of Floyd.
Judge Peter Cahill gave Chauvin a much longer sentence than the 12 1/2 years that was expected because he concurred with prosecutors that there were aggravating factors in the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin filed the paperwork for the appeal himself stating he doesn’t have money for an attorney and claims he’d been denied a public defender by the state supreme court. He has asked for the appeal to be delayed until he can secure an attorney to represent him in court, according to FOX 9 in Minneapolis.
(Video Credit: Reuters)
The officer’s case before Cahill was funded by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s legal defense fund. Chauvin wrote in his request for representation, “I have been informed that their obligation to pay for my representation terminated upon my conviction and sentencing.”
As part of Derek Chauvin's court filing for appeal he writes he doesn't have an attorney in the appeals process, that he was denied representation by a public defender earlier this month, and that he has no income aside from nominal prison wages. pic.twitter.com/fHLgffrVWh
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) September 24, 2021
He believes the judge abused his discretion or erred during several key points in his case which is the basis for his appeal.
The former police officer cited 14 arguments for his appeal. He pointed to the fact that the trial wasn’t moved to another county where there was less publicity so his case would not be tainted and he could get a fair verdict. He also cited that the jury was not sequestered and some of the members were “clearly biased” in the case. He also contested the allowance of the third-degree murder charge according to WCCO-TV in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death and the video of the incident sparked nationwide violent protests over racial injustice and police brutality. The public attention and the city’s announcement during jury selection that it planned to pay $27 million in a settlement to George Floyd’s family were among the numerous reasons his attorney had previously requested a change in venue.
All of the arguments that Chauvin is raising in his appeal have been already claimed previously by his defense attorney Eric Nelson as the case worked its way through the district court. It is not expected that his appeal will prevail at this point.
Mohamed Noor, who is the former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman named Justine Ruszczyk Damond, had his third-degree murder conviction overturned last week, giving Chauvin hope that it could set precedent for his to be reversed as well.
(Video Credit: BNC News)
Chauvin has other legal woes as well. He pleaded not guilty last week to violating the civil rights of a teenager in 2017 during a domestic dispute involving his mother. He is said to have used the same neck technique on the boy who was arrested in the incident.
He has also been charged in federal court with violating George Floyd’s civil rights by kneeling on his neck for approximately 9 1/2 minutes. Floyd did not resist and professed he couldn’t breathe while he was facedown on the pavement. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
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