Derek Chauvin files 11th-hour appeal for conviction in George Floyd’s murder

Derek Chauvin has filed an appeal for his conviction of the murder of George Floyd just before the deadline to appeal ran out.

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Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison, The Associated Press reported.

>>Related: Derek Chauvin sentencing: Former cop sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for George Floyd’s murder

Floyd died when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck during an arrest on May 25, 2020. Recordings showed Floyd lying face down on the ground, telling officers he was not able to breathe as Chauvin knelt on top of Floyd.

Chauvin is also charged in federal court with violating Floyd’s civil rights during the 9 1/2 minutes he knelt on Floyd’s neck, the AP reported.

Two other officers were seen restraining Floyd. J. Alexander Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back. Thomas Lane held Floyd’s legs. A third officer, Tou Thao, kept witnesses away from the scene. All three officers are no longer with the force and they all pleaded not guilty to federal civil rights charges. They are also facing state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. They will have a joint trial in March, CBS News reported.

As for Chauvin’s appeal, which he filed himself, he claims he has no money and is “unrepresented by legal counsel in connection with the appeal,” according to CBS News.

>>Related: Ex-officers accused of violating George Floyd’s rights plead not guilty

He claims he was denied representation by a public defender and is asking the state supreme court to review the issue. He also said the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis does not represent him after his conviction.

Judge Peter Cahill granted Chauvin “pauper status,” which allows Chauvin to not pay court costs and filing fees.

Chauvin is appealing for the following reasons, according to CBS News.

  • He claims the court “abused its discretion” when it denied a change of venue, jury sequestration, a continuance and a new trial.
  • He said there was “prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” on the part of state prosecutors.
  • The court allowed Morries Hall not to testify. Hall was with Floyd the night of his death.
  • The court denied the presentation of “cumulative evidence with respect to use of force.”
  • The court allowed state prosecutors “to lead witnesses on direct examination.”
  • Sidebar conferences were not made part of the official trial record.
  • The court did not allow the defense to remove potential jurors that showed bias during jury selection.
  • The court allowed the third-degree murder charge to be added.
  • The court didn’t allow information about Floyd’s May 6, 2019 arrest that occurred a year before Floyd’s death.
  • The court denied the defense’s “post-verdict motion for a new trial due to juror misconduct.”
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