Supreme Court won’t hear Derek Chauvin’s appeal in murder of George Floyd newsbhunt

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s appeal of his conviction for the 2020 murder of George Floyd, which galvanized mass protests that summer against police brutality and racism against Black Americans.

Chauvin’s attorney argued that his client was denied a fair trial in 2021 after a Minnesota trial court rejected his request for a change of venue and to sequester the jury. The extensive pretrial publicity and protests in the area would have affected jurors’ decisions, the petition stated.

“This was particularly true here when the jurors themselves had a vested interest in finding Mr. Chauvin guilty in order to avoid further rioting in the community in which they lived and the possible threat of physical harm to them or their families,” stated the petition, which was filed last month. “Local media saturated the community with literally daily coverage regarding Mr. Chauvin.”

The Supreme Court denied the request with no comment. Chauvin’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neal Katyal, the attorney representing Minnesota, applauded the decision. “We are very pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Derek Chauvin’s appeal,” said Katyal, a former acting solicitor general of the United States.

Floyd, a Black man, died in May 2020 after Chauvin, a White man, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Video captured the scene and Floyd’s gasping pleas, “I can’t breathe,” igniting vast unrest across the nation.

Nearly a year later, a 12-member Hennepin County jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin was sentenced to 22½ years in prison.

This year, a Minnesota appeals court rejected Chauvin’s petition for a new trial. The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed Chauvin’s argument that intense media publicity, along with other issues, had hindered his right to a fair trial. The Minnesota Supreme Court in July refused to review the appeals court’s decision.

Chauvin is separately appealing his conviction on federal civil rights charges, stating that new evidence shows he didn’t cause Floyd’s death.

Chauvin, 47, is incarcerated at a federal prison in Tucson.

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