Thursday, May 6, 2021

Convicted officer Chauvin asks for a new trial

 Former police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in a high-profile conviction two weeks ago, requested a new trial on Tuesday.


In motions filed to the judge, Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson said his client was deprived of a fair trial, claiming prosecutorial and jury misconduct, errors of law and the verdict being contrary to the law.

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and third-degree murder.

The rare conviction of a police officer came after months of protests in the wake of Floyd's death, which was captured on video and widely shared.

Nelson said the court abused its discretion when it did not grant his motion to change the venue, and when it denied his initial motion for a new trial based on the enormous publicity of the case, threatening its fairness.

The day before the jury reached its verdict, the judge slammed U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, who told protesters to "get more confrontational" if Chauvin was found not guilty.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the impartiality of one juror, Brandon Mitchell, has been called into question after media circulated a photo of him wearing Black Lives Matter gear in front of a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mitchell defended the photo on Monday, telling local media that the photo was taken in commemoration of King's famed “I Have a Dream” speech from 1963.

Chauvin's filing for a new trial on Tuesday did not mention Mitchell directly, but requested the court to hold a hearing to impeach the verdict based on the grounds that the "jury committed misconduct."

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