Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin asked a judge in Minneapolis on Tuesday for a new trial, court records show, two weeks after he was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd.
Attorney Eric Nelson said his client was deprived of a fair trial, adding that there were prosecutors and jury crimes, misconduct at the trial and that the verdict was against the law. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to proposals for a new trial.
On April 20, a 12-member jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty of all three counts he faced after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including spectators, police and medical experts.
The charges were unintentional third-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree murder.
The rare verdict against a police officer is considered a milestone in America’s ugly racial history and a rebuke to law enforcement’s treatment of black Americans.
In a confrontation captured on video, Chauvin, a white veteran of the police force, pressed the knee of the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020.
Chauvin and three officials tried to arrest Floyd, accused of using a fake $ 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 the police against people of color.
Nelson said the court abused its discretion when it did not grant his change of seat proposal and when it did not bind the jury. He also said that the court abused its discretion when it denied his original proposal for a new trial based on the enormous publicity that the trial received and threatened its justice.
The day before the jury’s verdict, Cahill criticized US Representative Maxine Waters’ statements on the case, saying she may have given the defense reason to appeal in the event of a conviction.
After the jury received the case and was fired, President Joe Biden also commented on the trial, saying he hoped “the verdict is the right verdict.”
Nelson also accused Minnesota prosecutors of misconduct when they despised the defense, saying the court failed with its client when it did not force Morries Hall, who was in the car with Floyd when police arrived, to testify.
A photo circulated by several news organizations has also raised questions about the impartiality of a jury member, Brandon Mitchell, the Washington Post reported.
The picture shows Mitchell wearing a T-shirt with the words “get your knee off our necks” around a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. Mitchell also wore a baseball cap in Black Lives Matter.
On Monday, Mitchell defended the photo and told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the photo was taken in DC in August during the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech from 1963.
Nelson did not mention Mitchell directly in the court application on Tuesday, but asked the court to hold a hearing to prosecute the verdict on the grounds that “the jury made a mistake.”