Chauvin Appeals Conviction Over George Floyd Murder — Attorney Argues Trial Unfair

( – Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who became a household name after video footage of him kneeling on George Floyd’s neck went viral in 2020, appealed his conviction on Wednesday.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 22 ½ years, and later pleaded guilty on a separate federal civil rights charge and was sentenced to 21 years, now serving his sentence in Arizona alongside his sentence in Minnesota.

Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, appeared before an appeals court on Wednesday requesting the convictions for George Floyd’s murder be thrown out, arguing the trial was unfair due to legal and procedural errors. He cited that the publicity leading up to the trial was beyond any other in the history of Minnesota, stating that the trial should have been moved elsewhere by the judge as well as the jury sequestered to avoid pressure from the public.

Mohrman raised several other points, such as the riots, the $27 million settlement with George Floyd’s family that was announced while the jury was still being selected, the exclusion of favorable evidence, prosecutor misconduct, and other factors that he argues made it impossible for Chauvin to receive a fair trial.

Floyd’s death became a huge public spectacle, leading to mass civil unrest across the country, including a violent and destructive series of protests in Washington D.C. which resulted in the burning of St. John’s Church and Former President Donald Trump being sent into a bunker. It also bolstered the rise of activist groups such as Black Lives Matter (taking to the streets in 2014 after the death of Michael Brown) which received huge donations. The leadership of BLM has since come under scrutiny, and even Michael Brown’s father criticized them for lack of transparency.

The country is still torn on the issue, with some believing Floyd may have died from a drug overdose rather than Chauvin’s actions.

The appeals court is expected to respond within the next three months. Chauvin’s federal sentence would keep him in prison even if he wins his appeal, and he could actually end up serving a longer sentence federally than under a state sentence, which could qualify for parole.

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