Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin filed an appeal over his conviction for the murder of George Floyd on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Chauvin, a caucasian police officer, was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years behind bars this June for restraining Floyd, a black citizen, with his knee on his neck for nine minutes causing him to choke to death.
He was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Filing an appeal to the Minnesota state appellate court, Chauvin listed more than a dozen issues with the legal prosecution process against him.
Among many things, he alleged that:
- The court “abused its discretion” when denying the defense’s motion for a change of venue, sequestration of the jury for the entire trial, a continuance and a new trial.
- There was “prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” committed by state prosecutors.
- The court’s decision to allow Morries Hall, who was with Floyd the night of his death, to not testify.
- The court’s decision to deny the presentation of “cumulative evidence with respect to use of force.”
- The court’s order for state prosecutors “to lead witnesses on direct examination.”
- The court’s alleged failure to make an official record of sidebar conferences throughout the trial.
- The court’s alleged failure in allowing the defense to strike “clearly biased jurors during voir dire (jury selection)”
- The court’s allowing the added third-degree murder charge.
- The court’s decision to limit and “undercut” the admission into evidence of Floyd’s May 6, 2019 arrest.
- The court’s denial of the defense’s “post-verdict motion for a new trial due to juror misconduct.”
Chauvin also filed a motion to halt the appeals process until the Minnesota Supreme Court examines an earlier judgment denying him a public defender to represent him in his appeal, according to CBS News.
Since his conviction, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis no longer represents him or is responsible for his legal fees. He either could not financially afford the attorney fee for his appeal process.
In late Thursday, Chauvin was granted “pauper status” by judge Peter Cahill who presided over his trial. The status allows him to be free from court costs and filing fees.
Attorney Joe Tamburino observed that it was strange that his trial attorney did not file the appeal on his behalf.
“He’s been denied a public defender. He’s in prison … for the next 22-plus years,” Tamburino told the news media. “I don’t know why that was denied.”
Allegedly Floyd perished after being held under Floyd’s knee for almost 10 minutes. Floyd’s last words to the ex-officer were he could not breathe.
The incident, which happened last summer, sparked national fury over social injustice for black citizens. Law enforcement as a whole has also faced more hostility since then.
Some are adamant about defunding the police force to prevent similar situations from being repeated or go as far as wanting to eradicate the system.
On the other hand, then-President Trump wanted to focus on reforming the department with a revised training program, according to the BBC.