Ex-cop convicted of George Floyd’s murder files appeal
Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin has appealed his conviction for the murder of George Floyd, citing 14 complaints related to his trial earlier this year.
The death of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in May 2020 sparked America’s biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades.
Chauvin, who in June was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes, appealed the conviction Thursday night with a Minnesota district court, on the last day he was able to do so.
He accuses the state of prejudicial misconduct and lists multiple issues with the jury selected for the trial, among other objections.
The former police officer, a 45-year-old white man, was captured on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, indifferent to the dying man’s groans and to the pleas of distraught passers-by.
The scene, filmed and uploaded by a young woman, quickly went viral. Hundreds of thousands of people subsequently poured onto streets across the country and overseas to demand an end to racism and police brutality.
The ex-cop and three of his colleagues arrested Floyd on suspicion of having passed a fake $20 bill in a store in Minneapolis, a northern city of around 400,000 people. They handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the street.
A jury took less than 10 hours in April to convict Chauvin of Floyd’s murder at the end of a high-profile trial. He was found guilty on all three charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
The other three police officers are to face state charges next year for their roles in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin’s conviction was greeted with relief across the country. Many had feared an acquittal would lead to worse unrest, while others worried that once again a white police officer would get away with what they saw as murder.
The Floyd family’s lawyer called the sentencing a “historic” step towards racial reconciliation in the United States.
Chauvin had a record of using excessive force before the unarmed Floyd died under his knee. AFP