(FreedomBeacon.com)- Saying trial proceedings were so riddled with “error, misconduct and prejudice that they were structurally defective,” lawyers for Derek Chauvin have officially appealed his conviction for killing George Floyd.
The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of manslaughter, third-degree murder and second-degree murder in April of last year for the 2020 killing of Floyd in police custody. He was ultimate sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for the crimes.
This week, his attorneys filed the official appeal, which targeted several different aspects of the original trial. Among the complaints regarding the trial were the protests that were going on directly outside the courthouse, the massive publicity regarding the case before the trial began, and the announcement from the city of Minneapolis that it would pay a settlement of $27 million to the family of Floyd.
That announcement happened while jury selection was going on. The appeal also accused prosecutors in the case of misconduct.
In the appeal, the attorneys for Chauvin are requesting that the court of appeals either reverse his conviction and grant their client a new trial that would be held in a new venue, reverse his conviction outright, or return his case to another lower court so they can re-sentence him.
The lower court initially denied the lawyers’ request to change the venue, but they continue to argue that a new venue is necessary.
The filing reads:
“There are few cases involving such violent threats by the community in the event the jury finds the defendant not guilty. Those cases — which all involved defendant police officers — required the transfer of venue.”
Further, the filing requests that if the appeals court ends up deciding to uphold Chauvin’s conviction, that the reduce his sentence so that it’s within Minnesota’s guidelines for sentencing.
In the filing, Chauvin’s attorneys additionally cited the fact that many of the jurors were concerned for their own safety during the trial. They wrote:
“The overwhelming media coverage exposed the jurors — literally every day — to news demonizing Chauvin and glorifying Floyd, which was more than sufficient to presume prejudice.
“However, the real problem is the jurors expressed concern for (i) they and their families’ personal safety and (ii) riots breaking out in the event they acquitted Chauvin.
“In order for a police officer to be convicted of murder, Minnesota statutes require the officer to be using ‘deadly force’ — force one knows will cause either death or ‘great bodily harm’ Putting your knees on the back of a suspect does not create a ‘substantial risk of causing death or great bodily harm.'”
Chauvin’s lawyers also drew attention to the fact that the court made errors in the instructions given to the jury. They wrote that the court instructed jurors that “it is not necessary for the State to prove that [Chauvin] intended to inflict substantial bodily harm,” which they said was a “material misstatement of the law.”