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George Floyd murder: Derek Chauvin appeals his conviction

Former US policeman Derek Chauvin appealed his sentence of more than 20 years in prison for the murder of African American George Floyd in 2020, citing several irregularities during his trial in the case which had shown the depth racial divisions in the United States.

The scene now showing him his knee for nearly ten minutes on the neck of the man he had just arrested, filmed and uploaded by a witness, quickly went viral and sparked giant protests against racism and police violence in the United States and around the world.

American Police: The Culture of Violence

And the sentencing of Chauvin to 22 and a half years in prison on June 25 was greeted with a great sigh of relief in the country, which feared that it would catch fire again if it emerged free.

14 irregularities in his trial

But the ex-policeman finally decided, at the last possible moment, to appeal. According to court documents unveiled Thursday, September 23, he cites 14 irregularities in his trial, both in the selection of the jury and in the fact that the judge did not order the solitary confinement of the jurors for the duration of the trial.

He also considers that the attitude of the State was prejudicial to him from the outset, and accuses the court of having “Abused of his position” by refusing his requests for postponement of the trial or his transfer to another State.

Death of George Floyd: return to a historic verdict

On May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white police officer, wanted to arrest George Floyd, suspected of having used a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes. With three colleagues, he had pinned him to the ground, before kneeling on his neck.

” I can not breathe “

The policeman had maintained his pressure for nearly ten minutes, indifferent to the groans of George Floyd repeating ” I can not breathe “, but also to the pleas of distraught passers-by, even once the pulse of the forty-something has become undetectable.

The scene, filmed and posted on social networks by a young woman, quickly went around the world, bringing hundreds of thousands of people into the streets.

Before Derek Chauvin, only a dozen American police officers had received prison sentences for murders committed in the line of duty.

No income and no lawyer for his appeal

In the documents he filed for his appeal, Chauvin also explains that he no longer has any income and no lawyer for his appeal. A fund intended for his defense during the first trial was closed after his conviction.

The ex-policeman, who had already been cited in several cases of excessive violence, was present during the six weeks of his trial but did not testify.

The death of George Floyd changed America. How? ‘Or’ What ? Two visions clash

His lawyer had claimed that he had simply followed the procedures laid down to subdue a suspect, and that Floyd’s death was due to health problems exacerbated by drug use.

But by the end of the trial, it took the jury less than ten hours to convict him of murder. Floyd’s family greeted the decision with relief, seeing it as a step “Historical” towards racial reconciliation in the United States.

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Chauvin’s three former colleagues, Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, are to be tried in March 2022 for “Complicity in murder” also by the justice of Minnesota.

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