George Floyd's killer Derek Chauvin files appeal in state court against his conviction
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Derek Chauvin, an ex-cop, found guilty by a federal court in the death of George Floyd, will appeal against the conviction in state court on Wednesday, January 18. His attorney, William Mohrman, who is often seen voicing conservative causes, calls the trial against a former Minneapolis police officer unfair, arguing that many legal and procedural errors were made. Though Chauvin chose to waive his right to appeal under his federal plea deal, he is still fighting against the murder conviction in state court.
Interestingly, even if he can convince the court and win the case, the federal sentence will keep him behind the bars for longer in comparison to the state system. As his chances of qualifying for parole are earlier in the state system, what the Chauvin case will however do is, is pave the way for future cases involving on-duty police officers. Floyd died on May 25, 2020, when Chauvin, a white man, pinned down the Black man to the ground with his knee on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes. A video made by a bystander, used as one of the pieces of evidence in the case, recorded Floyd’s desperate cries of “I can’t breathe.” His death triggered protests globally, bringing attention back to police brutality and racism faced by people.
Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 ½ years after jurors found him guilty on counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The convict is currently serving his 21 years sentence in federal prison, concurrent to his Arizona state sentence, holding him guilty of a federal civil rights charge.
His attorney Mohrman argues that the judge should have moved his trial and referred that the pretrial publicity against his client was "more extensive" than any other trial in Minnesota history. The legal representative to Chauvin also pointed out that a police killing in a Minneapolis suburb during jury selection, and the unprecedented courthouse security were a few of many factors that contributed to a biased conviction.
There were three other officers present at the crime scene, Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane, who were held guilty of federal civil rights charges in February, 2022, and currently serving their sentences in out-of-state federal prisons, as per ABC News. The two of them Kueng and Thomas agreed to plea deals on the count of aiding and abetting manslaughter and agreed to concurrent sentences, but Thao pleaded not guilty. It was then decided that Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill would decide on his jail term depending upon specific evidence.