Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin filed an appeal this week to overturn his murder conviction in the killing of George Floyd.
Chauvin’s legal team filed the 82-page brief at the Minnesota Court of Appeals on April 25, arguing that more than a dozen aspects of the case prevented Chauvin from getting a fair trial.
According to the appeal, the court proceedings were “so pervaded by error, misconduct, and prejudice that they were structurally defective.”
The appeal filing argues that Chauvin’s conviction should be overturned and the case should be sent back to Hennepin County or the court should order a new trial in a new venue.
The appeal further argues that if the conviction is upheld, the court should reduce Chauvin’s sentence to be within the state’s sentencing guidelines.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 and a half years in prison, exceeding the state’s sentencing guideline range of 10 years and eight months to 15 years.
In a memorandum, Cahill wrote that the case warranted a harsher sentence because Chauvin “abused his position of trust and authority” and treated Floyd with “particular cruelty” and “without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings.”
Body camera footage and bystander video showed Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes.
However, Chauvin’s legal team argued in the appeal that Cahill should not have included abuse of a position of authority as a factor in Floyd’s killing.
The appeal comes as a state investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) found that the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination.
MDHR launched the investigation shortly after Floyd’s killing, which sparked mass protests across the country.
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