Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin asked a judge on Tuesday for a new trial, court records show, two weeks after he was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd.
In a series of motions filed with District Court Judge Peter Cahill, attorney Eric Nelson said his client was deprived of a fair trial, adding that there was a violation by prosecutors and jurors, errors of law in the process and that the verdict contradicted of the law. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to requests for a new trial.
A rare conviction against a police officer is considered a milestone in the racial history of the United States and a rebuke to law enforcement attitudes toward black Americans.
In a video confrontation, Chauvin, a white veteran of the police, punched his knee in the neck of the 46-year-old black man with handcuffs Floyd for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020. Chauvin and three colleagues try to arrest Floyd accused of the use of a counterfeit $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.
Floyd’s death led to protests in the United States and abroad over the excessive use of force by police against people of color.
Nelson said the court abused its judgment when it did not grant his request to change the venue and when it did not sequester the jury. He also said the court misused its judgment when it denied his original proposal for a new trial based on the huge publicity gained from the trial, threatening his justice.
A day before the sentencing, Cahill sharply criticized criticism of US Secretary Maxine Waters’ remark in the case, saying she may have given grounds to defend herself in the event of a conviction.
After the court hearing received the case and it was sequestered, President Joe Biden also commented on the trial, saying he hoped the “sentence was the right one.”
Nelson also accused Minnesota prosecutors of misconduct when they undermined the defense and said the court failed his client when he did not force Maurice Hall, who was in the car with Floyd, when police arrived to testify.
A photo circulated by several news organizations also raised questions about the impartiality of a juror, Brandon Mitchell, the Washington Post reported.
The photo shows Mitchell wearing a T-shirt with the words “get your knee off our necks” around a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Mitchell also wore a Black Lives Matter baseball cap.
On Monday, Mitchell defended the photo, telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the photo was taken in the District of Columbia in August during a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 speech “I Have a Dream.”
Nelson did not mention Mitchell directly in Tuesday’s case, but asked the court to hold an impeachment hearing on the grounds that “jurors have committed misconduct.”
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