(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for murdering George Floyd, will appeal his case, the Daily Caller reported.
Chauvin’s attorney filed on April 25 with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He said that the jurors in Chauvin’s trial could not reach an unbiased judgment due to intense public pressure, media attacks and violent protests.
Attorney William Mohrman asked the appeals court to either resentence him or retry his case at a new location. The case was tried in Hennepin County, the location of Floyd’s death.
“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 lawyers wrote in a court filing.
Last June, a jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his highly disputed role in killing Floyd.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin. In the filing, Mohrman also claimed that Cahill did not follow sentencing guidelines and wrongly included a sentence enhancement based on “abuse of a position of authority.”
Chauvin held Floyd to the ground with his knee while waiting for backup after Floyd resisted arrest. Floyd was under the influence of deadly narcotics, including fentanyl.
Chauvin was arresting Floyd for passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby convenience store.
Mohrman said that during jury selection many jurors voiced concerns about their own safety and the security of the Minneapolis area if Chauvin were not found guilty.
Violent riots occurred from Floyd’s death until the trial’s conclusion, and Black Lives Matter threatened worse violence if Chauvin were not convicted. Ongoing riots caused about $2 billion in property damage and at least 19 casualties.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison must respond to Chauvin’s appeal in 45 days.