According to Reuters, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of the murder of African-American man George Floyd in 2020 says he will appeal against his conviction. Derek Chauvin says there were issues with the jury at the trial and that it should not have taken place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In documents filed on Thursday, Chauvin alleges that the trial judge abused his discretion at several key points of the case. Chauvin raised 14 issues about his prosecution, including the court’s denial of a request for a change of venue that he believed supported his request for an appeal.
The former officer said he had no legal representative for the appeal process as the Minnesota police department’s “obligation to pay for my representation terminated upon my conviction and sentencing”, the Associated Press news agency reports. He has asked the Supreme Court to review an earlier decision to deny him a publicly-financed lawyer.
Chauvin said that in his opinion the judge abused his discretion when he denied requests to sequester the jury throughout the trial. Chauvin also listed issues with the trial itself, including the addition of the third-degree murder charge and the court’s failure to make an official record of numerous sidebars throughout the trial.
Chauvin was sentenced to over 22 years in jail after kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. His death sparked mass protests against racism and police brutality in the US. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and other charges were barred from owning firearms for life and was also told to register as a predatory offender. The verdict was seen widely as a landmark rebuke of the disproportionate use of force by the police against black Americans.
Chauvin, 45, was given 90 days from the date of his sentencing on 25 June to appeal against his conviction.