US

Former police officer who murdered George Floyd appeals against his conviction

The former Minneapolis police officer jailed for the murder of George Floyd has appealed against his conviction.

Derek Chauvin was sentenced in June to 22-and-a-half years in a case that made global headlines and sparked protests.

He had 90 days to lodge an appeal from date of sentencing and the application is based on five specific issues:

  • The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s motion for change of venue or a new trial
  • The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s motion for a continuance or a new trial
  • The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s motions to sequester the jury throughout trial
  • The State committed prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct
  • The District Court prejudicially erred when it concluded that the testimony of Morries Hall, or in the alternative Mr Hall’s statements to law enforcement, did not fall under Minn. R. Evid. 804(b)(3) and was not a violation Appellant’s constitutional confrontation rights

Chauvin was convicted after a video showed the white former police officer with his knee on the neck of Mr Floyd, a black man, for more than nine minutes while arresting him on 25 May 2020.

Mr Floyd was being arrested on suspicion of using a fake $20 note but he was handcuffed, restrained, and repeatedly called out “I can’t breathe” before he died.

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Moment Chauvin was jailed in Minneapolis

In sentencing Chauvin, Judge Peter Cahill said he had gone beyond the 12-and-a-half-year jail term prescribed under state guidelines, citing Chauvin’s “abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty” shown to Mr Floyd.

He said the sentence was not based on “emotion or sympathy” or on “public opinion…or an attempt to send any messages”.

More on George Floyd

But he added: “At the same time, I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family. You have our sympathies.”

The case re-energised the Black Lives Matter movement, with protests across the US and in other countries against racial inequality and police brutality.

Fewer than a dozen police officers have been sentenced for an on-duty murder in the US in the last 15 years and Chauvin is the first white police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of killing a black man.

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