Why does Derek Chauvin want a new trial? Attorney claims media 'demonized' former cop

The appeal filing argues that jurors who participated in the case were worried for their safety and their loved ones in case Chauvin was released from the case


                            Why does Derek Chauvin want a new trial? Attorney claims media 'demonized' former cop
Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years behind bars for murder of George Floyd (Minnesota Department of Corrections via Getty Images)
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Derek Chauvin who was convicted in the 2020 death of George Floyd has now requested a new trial in the case. The former Minneapolis cop was awarded 22.5 years behind bars after being convicted of killing Floyd in April 2021. He had kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd gasped for air and told officers he cannot breathe.

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In an 82-page appeal filed on Monday, Chauvin's attorney William Mohrman has demanded a 'fair' trial, claiming the media coverage of the case “glorified Floyd and demonized Chauvin.” 

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison had dubbed Chavin's sentencing a “moment of real accountability” as it’s “one of the longest a former police officer has ever received for an unlawful use of deadly force”. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who sentenced him, had said at the time: “I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family. You have our sympathies, and I acknowledge and hear the pain that you are feeling. It has been painful throughout Hennepin County, throughout the state of Minnesota and even the country. But most importantly, we need to recognize the pain of the Floyd family.”

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Why does Derek Chauvin want a new trial?

In his multi-page filing, Mohrman has claimed that Chauvin did not get a fair trial earlier because of the stressful atmosphere as the May 2020 death of Floyd resulted in nationwide protests, including violent clashes between police and protestors. He also said that because of the people’s "glorification" of the Black man, jurors who participated in the case were worried for their safety and their loved ones in case Chauvin was released from the case.

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A protester holds a sign with a photo of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during demonstrations following the death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020 in Los Angeles (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The filing by Mohrman read: “Juror No. 87 stated that she was ‘nervous’ because this was a high profile case and Minneapolis ‘blew up after the incident’. Juror 28 stated ’the decision the jury makes has maybe broader implications, reactions from the general public,’ and ‘knowing that the people, general public, is paying attention to the decision and more pressure, I guess, to get it right.’”

In the brief, the attorney also noted that because of the escalated tension after the police killing of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota during the trial, the identities of the jurors were not concealed. Mohrman argued that the trial should not have happened in Hennepin County. It should have been shifted to another county.

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Apart from Chauvin, three other police officers named — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — were also reportedly involved in the killing of Floyd. They are soon expected to stand trial on state charges after being found guilty in federal trial, and a Hennepin County judge has reportedly said on Tuesday that he won’t allow the live streaming of it.

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Earlier, before Chauvin’s sentencing when his legal team had asked for a new trial, people on Twitter did not miss a chance to ridicule him. At the time, a user had tweeted: “If Derek Chauvin wants to found guilty a second time, I guess that's his privilege. If they go through the trouble of a new trial, with the same evidence and the same verdict, then double the sentence.” Another one wrote: “Derek Chauvin wants a new trial. My mother used to say: people in hell want ice water.” “Imagine going to trial AGAIN about a crime that you committed on V I D E O Read that again,” the third user added.

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