Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday asked a judge for a new trial, court records show two weeks after he was found guilty of the murder and manslaughter of the murder of George Floyd.
In a series of decisions filed with Judge Peter Cahill, attorney Eric Nelson said his client was deprived of a fair trial, adding that there was prosecution and abuse of juries, legal errors in the trial and that the verdict was in contrary to the law. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to proposals for a new trial.
The rare verdict against a police officer is considered a milestone in America’s full-fledged racing 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, pushed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020. Chauvin and three co-officers 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 about excessive use of force by police against coloreds.
Nelson said the court abused its discretion when it did not make its proposal to change venue and when it did not bind the jury. He also said the court abused its discretion when it denied his original proposal for a new trial based on the huge publicity the trial received and threatened its fairness.
The day before the jury reached her verdict, Cahill harshly criticized U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ remarks on the case, saying she might have given the defense cause for appeal in the event of a conviction.
After the jury got the case and was set up, President Joe Biden also commented on the trial, saying he hoped “the verdict is the right verdict.”
Nelson also accused Minnesota state attorneys of misconduct when they despised the defense, saying the court failed its client as 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 neck” around a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. Mitchell was also wearing a Black Lives Matter baseball cap.
On Monday, Mitchell defended the photo and told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the photo was taken in DC in August in memory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.
Nelson did not mention Mitchell directly in the court that filed Tuesday, but asked the court to hold a hearing to charge the verdict on the grounds that “the jury committed misleading.”
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