Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murder in the in the death of George Floyd in 2020, has recently filed a brief in his appeal process claiming that the riots surrounding Floyd’s death poisoned the jury against him and that one of the jurors blatantly lied about his “anti-cop activism.”
Derek Chauvin Complains of ‘Poisoned’ Jury, Says Riots After ‘The Events in Question’ Led to ‘Legally-Impossible Conviction’ for George Floyd’s Deathhttps://t.co/z77Q7A722F
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Chauvin, after pleading guilty to federal civil rights charges, was convicted by a Minnesota jury of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He is requesting that an appeals court overturn his multiple state-level convictions leaving him to serve the 21 years he was sentenced to for the civil rights charges.
The brief filed by Chauvin’s attorneys states that, “the riots that erupted in 2020 after the death of George Floyd “poisoned the jury against” Chauvin and that the lingering threat that the rioting would escalate in the event of an acquittal nearly guaranteed Chauvin’s conviction.”
The brief also accuses the media of tainting the jury against Chauvin. In regards to the media, Chauvin’s attorneys wrote, “media coverage glorified Floyd and demonized Chauvin” and that “pretrial publicity held up Chauvin as the symbol of police brutality.”
The brief also accuses one juror of lying on the pre-trial questionnaire. Brandon Mitchell, who has subsequently revealed himself as a juror, is accused of “lying regarding his views of the case and the extent of his activism.” Mitchell checked “No” regarding his views of the case and the extent of his activism.” Subsequent photos, videos, and public appearances by Mitchell show that he has participated in at least one George Floyd-themed demonstration and has been seen wearing “BLM” and “Get off our necks” t-shirts.
Jurors from the trial, however, have consistently stated that only the facts of the case, regardless of race or any other issue, led them to their verdict.
Seven of the jurors from the Chauvin trial told CNN’s Don Lemon that seeing the video and being a part of the case was a “life-altering experience that still haunts them.”