January 31, 2023

Westside People

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The police officer who killed George Floyd is seeking to overturn his trial

(Washington) The police officer whose killing of African-American George Floyd sparked America in 2020 has been trying since Wednesday to overturn his conviction for murder during an appeals hearing of essentially symbolic intent.


Derek Chauvin, 46, was convicted of murder by a northern Minnesota state court following a high-profile trial in 2021 and sentenced to 22½ years in prison.

He believes his rights to a fair trial were violated, particularly because the “publicity” and “threats of violence” surrounding the case should have led to a change of scenery in the trial, and is calling for the verdict to be overturned. .

Whatever the outcome of this appeal, Derek Chavin will remain in prison because he pleaded guilty before a federal judge to George Floyd’s “civil rights violations” and received a 21-year prison sentence in 2022.

“Haunted”

On May 25, 2020, a 19-year-old Minneapolis police officer knelt on the neck of a black forty-year-old man for nearly ten minutes, ignoring his screams and the interventions of panicked passersby.

The scene, which was filmed and posted online, sparked massive protests against racism and police brutality in the US and beyond.

During the trial in a local court, George Floyd’s lawyer argued that he died of an overdose, accompanied by physical health problems, and assured that Derek Chau had used his strength reasonably.

Today, the former police officer is seeking to invalidate the investigation, particularly because it was conducted in the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, less than a year after the tragedy.

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In their request, his attorneys recalled “threats” made against jurors, fears that an acquittal would spark new conflict in the two cities, and daily local media that “idealized George Floyd and demonized Derek Chavin.”

“The Light Comes In”

Attorneys for the former police officer criticize the court for refusing to hold trials in a rural part of the state or sequester jurors. For them, it would have prevented them from finding out in the middle of a trial that the city of Minneapolis had decided to pay up to $27 million in compensation to people close to George Floyd.

They also cite a juror’s lies that covered up his participation in protests following the death of George Floyd, and prosecutors accuse him of providing “aggregate” testimony from seven police officers and experts.

Prosecutors, in a separate argument, countered that the trial was “one of the most precise and transparent” in history, saying jury selection had lasted two weeks and the verdict should be upheld.

Both sides will present their arguments at the appeals court in St.-Paul from 9:30 a.m. (to 10:30 a.m. Eastern time) and the hearings, like the first hearing, will be televised.

Three other police officers were sentenced to between two and a half to three and a half years in prison for their role in George Floyd’s ordeal.