Derek Chauvin says George Floyd murder was 'error made in good faith', seeks probation

Attorney Eric J Nelson, filed a motion with Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, saying Chauvin had been 'painted as a dangerous man'

                            Derek Chauvin says George Floyd murder was 'error made in good faith', seeks probation
Graffiti artist Akse spray paints a mural of George Floyd; Derek Chauvin's booking photo (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Derek Chauvin’s attorney Eric J Nelson, reportedly filed a motion with Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill asking for probation or a below-guidelines prison term when sentencing the ex-police officer for the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin was convicted on April 21 of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. He will be sentenced on June 25.

On Wednesday, June 2, Nelson said Chauvin’s actions in kneeling on Floyd’s neck during the notorious arrest last year was “best described as an error made in good faith” based on his training. "Mr. Chauvin's offense is best described as an error made in good faith reliance [sic] his own experience as a police officer and the training he had received -- not intentional commission of an illegal act," he wrote in the motion.


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In this handout provided by Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mugshot after being charged in the death of George Floyd . Bail for Chauvin, who is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, is set at $500,000. The death sparked riots and protests in cities throughout the country after Floyd, a black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (Photo by Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

“Mr Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a ‘broken’ system,” Nelson further wrote. He said that Chauvin had been "painted as a dangerous man," and argued that "behind the politics, Mr Chauvin is still a human being." 

Nelson also cited Chauvin's 19-year history with the Minneapolis police department, as well as several on-the-job commendations and the support of his family and friends."In spite of his mistakes, Mr Chauvin has demonstrated that he has a capacity for good and that he has the discipline to consistently work toward worthwhile goals," the memo reads.

It is worth noting that Chauvin, in his career as a cop, had several misconduct complaints filed against him. Chauvin reportedly had 18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs, according to the police department. In 2006, Chauvin and five other officers reportedly shot and killed a man who had stabbed his girlfriend and a friend. Two years later, he was reportedly involved in an altercation with an individual suspected of a domestic dispute. Chauvin shot the man twice, though the man survived. In 2011, Chauvin was placed on a three-day leave, along with four other officers, for his involvement in the non-fatal shooting of an indigenous man.

Judge Cahill earlier had said that Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority and treated Floyd with particular cruelty. He committed the crime as part of a group with three other officers and did so with children present, Cahill said.

A mural painted by artist Kenny Altidor depicting George Floyd is unveiled on a sidewall of CTown Supermarket on July 13, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough New York City. George Floyd was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis and his death has sparked a national reckoning about race and policing in the United States. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

But in another memorandum filed on Wednesday, prosecutors asked for a sentence of 30 years for Chauvin, a term they said would "properly account for the profound impact of [Chauvin's] conduct on the victim, the victim's family, and the community." The memorandum said, "His actions traumatized Mr Floyd's family, the bystanders who watched Mr. Floyd die, and the community. And his conduct shocked the Nation's conscience. No sentence can undo the damage [Chauvin's] actions have inflicted. But the sentence the Court imposes must hold [Chauvin] fully accountable for his reprehensible conduct."

Online, Chauvin’s request has been met with anger. “George Floyd said, ‘I can't breathe’ twenty-seven times before Derek Chauvin was finished executing him. TWENTY. SEVEN. TIMES. And now Chauvin wants probation because of what a long jail sentence will do to his life prospects?? Oh please. Lock him up & throw away the key!” wrote a Twitter user. One Twitter user also said, “Derek Chauvin wants probation? George Floyd said he couldn't breathe 27 times. He murdered him and he wants probation because of what a long jail sentence will do to his life? He's staying in prison for the rest of his life and think about what he did every day.”

The official account for the Palmer Report wrote, “Hey Derek Chauvin, you were just convicted of murder. Why are you asking to go free on probation instead of going to prison? Did George Floyd get to go free? No, because you murdered him. Derek Chauvin, you're going to prison. Better yet, you can go to hell.” Another Twitter account said, “Wow! Derek Chauvin’s defense lawyer asked the Judge to just reduce his sentence to time served and give him probation... Says prison will cause his client ‘long-term damage’... GTFOH... You know what actually causes long-term damage? Kneeling on a man’s neck for nine minutes…”





Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.