Derek Chauvin petitions court to overturn conviction in killing of ‘glorified’ George Floyd

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In what is likely to be the first of many reconsiderations, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has appealed his case to a higher court after he was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

After jury deliberations, Chauvin was rapidly sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison following an explosion of riots, arson, looting and murder across major and largely Democrat-led cities in 2020.

Attorneys for Chauvin, 46, filed an exhaustive 82-page appeal in which they asked the court to either reverse his conviction, grant him a new trial in a different venue, or remand the case back to a  lower court for resentencing, The Hill reported.

The complete filling with the Minnesota court of appeals can be read here.

In the complaint, Chauvin’s counsel brings to light many facets of the investigation and trial which they allege worked against their client; not the least of which is the city of Minneapolis’ decision to pay $27 million in settlement funds to Floyd’s family, even before the voir dire interrogations- a.k.a. jury selection – had yet to be completed.

Furthermore, Chauvin’s counsel alleges prosecutorial misconduct; fed and nurtured by legacy media.

“This coverage glorified Floyd and demonized Chauvin,” his lawyers wrote.

“The jurors, because they were not sequestered, saw this every day,” attorney William Mohrman said, according to UPI.

“The courthouse was surrounded by barbed wire and soldiers during the trial. Prior to jury deliberations, National Guard troops were deployed throughout Minneapolis, businesses boarded up their buildings and schools were closed ‘bracing for a riot’ in the event Chauvin’s acquittal,” the filing said.

“There are few cases involving such violent threats by the community in the event the jury finds the defendant not guilty,” the filing continued. “Those cases — which all involved defendant police officers — required transfer of venue,” the attorneys stated.

“The overwhelming media coverage exposed the jurors — literally every day — to news demonizing Chauvin and glorifying Floyd, which was more than sufficient to presume prejudice,” the filing said.

The appeal continued, “However, the real problem is the jurors expressed concern for (i) they and their families’ personal safety and (ii) riots breaking out in the event they acquitted Chauvin,” it stated.

Chauvin’s counselors sought to remind the court that “in order for a police officer to be convicted of murder, Minnesota statutes require the officer to be using ‘deadly force’ — force one knows will cause either death or ‘great bodily harm.’ Putting your knees on the back of a suspect does not create a ‘substantial risk of causing, death or great bodily harm.’”

Moreover, Chauvin’s lawyers called attention to an alleged dismissal of the very tenet of equal justice under the law. They claimed the court had onerously influenced the jury by relieving them of the onus to find guilt. They allege the court told the jury that “it is not necessary for the State to prove that [Chauvin] intended to inflict substantial bodily harm.”

That, according to Chauvin’s counsel, is a “material misstatement of the law.”

Chauvin’s lawyers also pointed out that a “presumptive sentence” for an individual without a criminal history is typically 150 months in prison.

Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months.

“Chauvin is a police officer statutorily authorized to commit ‘assaults’ to effect an arrest,” they argued in the filing, adding that “abuse of a position of authority” is not an aggravating factor.

“The State’s pervasive, intentional discovery violations, alone, were sufficiently prejudicial as to require a new trial,” his attorneys concluded.


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