Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin plans to appeal his second-degree murder conviction in the killing of George Floyd to the U.S. Supreme Court, following the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case, Your Content has learned.
Chauvin’s attorney announced this development on Wednesday.
Without providing any comment, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected Chauvin’s petition, upholding his conviction and 22 1/2-year prison sentence. Chauvin faces an uphill battle in the U.S. Supreme Court, which only accepts a small fraction of the thousands of cases it is asked to review each year.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African American, tragically died when Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes outside a convenience store. A video captured by a bystander showed Floyd pleading for breath.
This incident sparked global protests and triggered a national dialogue on police brutality and systemic racism.
Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrmann, expressed disappointment with the decision, highlighting the issue of holding the trial in Minneapolis in 2021, citing concerns about pretrial publicity and potential violence in the event of an acquittal. Mohrmann intends to raise this issue with the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to Mohrmann, “This criminal trial generated the most amount of pretrial publicity in history. More concerning are the riots which occurred after George Floyd’s death (and) led the jurors to all express concerns for their safety in the event they acquitted Mr. Chauvin.”
In May, Mohrmann petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court after the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected his arguments regarding a fair trial. The Minnesota attorney general’s office responded, urging the Supreme Court to uphold the previous ruling.
Chauvin has already pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge and received a 21-year sentence in federal prison, to be served concurrently with his state sentence. Three other former officers involved in the case are serving shorter sentences, while Tou Thao, who restrained the crowd, awaits sentencing in state court.
Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the case, found Thao guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter in May. Sentencing is scheduled for August 7.
Thao declined a plea agreement and opted for a trial based on written submissions and evidence from previous proceedings, according to ABC.