George Floyd Officer Trial
FILE - In this April 20, 2021 file image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd,, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Nelson has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion when it refused to change the venue in the original proceedings, according to a court document filed Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)
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Chauvin's lawyer seeks new trial, hearing to impeach verdict

47 Comments
By AMY FORLITI

The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion, and he wants a hearing to have the verdict impeached because of what he says is jury misconduct, according to a court document filed Tuesday.

Derek Chauvin, who is white, was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd. Evidence at trial showed Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe and went motionless.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said he is requesting a new trial in the interests of justice. He said there were abuses of discretion that deprived Chauvin of a fair trial, prosecutorial and jury misconduct and that the verdict was contrary to law.

A request for a new trial is routine following a guilty verdict and often mirrors issues that will be raised on appeal, said Mike Brandt, a Minneapolis defense attorney who has been closely following the case. If this request is denied, it can add another layer of decisions for Nelson to appeal. Brandt and others have said Chauvin's convictions are unlikely to be overturned.

Nelson cited many reasons in his request for a new trial. He said Judge Peter Cahill abused the discretion of the court and violated Chauvin’s right to due process and a fair trial when he denied Nelson’s request to move the trial to another county due to pretrial publicity.

He also said Cahill abused his discretion when he denied an earlier request for a new trial based on publicity during the proceedings, which Nelson said threatened the fairness of the trial. Nelson said that publicity included “intimidation” of the defense expert witness, which he said could have a “far-reaching chilling effect" on the ability of defendants to get expert witnesses in high-profile cases, including the upcoming cases of the three other former officers charged in Floyd's death.

“The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings,” Nelson wrote.

Nelson also took issue with Cahill’s refusal to sequester the jury for the trial or warn them to avoid all media, and with his refusal to allow a man who was with Floyd at the time of his arrest to testify.

Nelson said Cahill also abused his discretion when he submitted jury instructions that Nelson said failed to accurately reflect the law on the murder charges and use of force, permitted the state to present cumulative evidence on use of force, and ordered the state to lead witnesses on direct examination, among other things.

Nelson also asked the judge for a hearing to impeach the verdict on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt race-based pressure, felt intimidated or threatened, and/or failed to adhere to jury instructions, though the filing did not include details about that assertion. To impeach a verdict is to question its validity.

The brief did not mention recent reports that one of the jurors participated in an Aug. 28 march in Washington, D.C., to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

That juror, Brandon Mitchell, has defended his actions, saying the event was to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington and was not a protest over Floyd's death. Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and relatives of others who had been shot by police addressed the crowd at the march last summer.

Nelson did not immediately return a message seeking details about his allegation of juror misconduct.

Brandt said Nelson will likely file more detailed written arguments on these issues. The purpose of holding a hearing to impeach the verdict would be to develop a factual record and present evidence that could determine whether the verdict was compromised. If a hearing is granted, it's likely Mitchell would be called in to answer questions, Brandt said.

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47 Comments

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A juror who was pictured wearing a BLM tshirt and cap at this anti-police event.

A shirt and cap which he "doesnt recall" wearing or even owning.

That juror, Brandon Mitchell, has defended his actions, saying the event was to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington and was not a protest over Floyd's death. Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and relatives of others who had been shot by police addressed the crowd at the march last summer.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The left did it to themselves again. The jurors not being sequestered, Sharpton, Gump, Waters and this Juror didn’t help the case, looks like we are in for a possible retrial.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Yeah, if this case is not thrown out or retried, there is no justice.

There is no way to be able to explain the prejudiced actions of this juror.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The normal procedure when a defendant is found guilty of a serious offense. Going nowhere except for 20+ years in jail.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Chauvin should count himself lucky that he's not facing a capital crime. If it weren't for the argument that he was acting in an official capacity he'd be accused of a willful murder charge and facing the possibility of a death sentence. This despicable individual is responsible for untold misery and unrest all in the name of trying to turn a free democracy into something akin to a Soviet Russia or people's republic of China where people cowtow to the authorities.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Chauvin is toast, and rightfully so.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The normal procedure when a defendant is found guilty of a serious offense. Going nowhere except for 20+ years in jail.

Not necessarily, it depends and given the circumstances of now having a tainted jury pool, not only could see a retrial, but looking at how he was treated the guy could be acquitted, that’s a serious possibility.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

no interest in the juror bias/misconduct at all, it seems. Got the "approved" verdict so nothing to see here.

Typical.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There will be no mistrial or acquittal. That’s just misguided wishful thinking on the part of those who still believe Chauvin is innocent when he clearly isn’t.

The lawyer has to appeal and try to overturn the verdict, that’s his job. And they’ll go through the motions with it, as they should. But it won’t change the outcome.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

no interest in the juror bias/misconduct at all, it seems. Got the "approved" verdict so nothing to see here.

Imagine being this upset that the police can't murder black people. Sad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

> no interest in the juror bias/misconduct at all, it seems. Got the "approved" verdict so nothing to see here.

Plenty of interest in it. It’s all over the news, kind of hard to avoid it. I’m not sure what you’re getting at by pointing towards another conspiracy/cover up/media blackout. “A day in court” again, sure.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so its fine now for a juror to lie on a questionnaire and be biased as long as you get the desired result?

Anyone want to mention how they feel about the juror attending the protest decked out in BLM gear?

Then agreeing its him in the picture but doesnt recall owning or wearing the shirt or hat he is pictured in?

isnt this....odd?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

isnt this....odd?

The video is as clear as day. Chauvin exercised criminal lack of care that caused the death of George Floyd and you want the verdict overturned on a technicality. Why? So he can go and murder more people?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chauvin wasn't convicted of racism. He was convicted for not following procedure which resulted in the death of a detained person.

The jury, including people from different backgrounds, all agreed. There was no one single person who made the decision.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You not caring about obvious juror bias and misconduct doesnt mean it doesnt exist. It just means you dont care. But thats not how the justice system supposed to work.

lol "obvious bias" is your opinion. Does it raise questions? I guess, but again the video is already crystal clear. Were the other 12 jurors also biased in their decision?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

now I see why the jurors were scared of BLM showing up to their house if they acquitted.

There was a BLM activist ON.THE.JURY. who knows their names and what they all look like.

Im sorry if you cant see how all of this is a problem.

fair trial? nah, dont need that. get that result so that the neighborhood doesnt get burned down again.

I am interested to see what the judge has to say about the legality of all this.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

fair trial? nah, dont need that. get that result so that the neighborhood doesnt get burned down again.

lolol Were all the other jurors also biased? How can you or anyone else possibly think Chauvin didn't kill George Floyd? You want a killer cop released not because he is innocent, but because of technicality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There will be no mistrial or acquittal.

As of now, you don’t know that.

That’s just misguided wishful thinking on the part of those who still believe Chauvin is innocent when he clearly isn’t.

I don’t know a single person who thinks the guy is innocent, I’m sure there are a few that do

The lawyer has to appeal and try to overturn the verdict, that’s his job. And they’ll go through the motions with it,

So we shall see, if the case retries, we don’t know. I thought OJ was guilty and the jury found out he wasn’t. I’m just saying, we just don’t know, but what we can say with a high degree of certainty this thing is going to now take a very different look

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The jury, including people from different backgrounds, all agreed. There was no one single person who made the decision.

Except for a BLM sympathizer and supporter.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I’m just saying, we just don’t know, but what we can say with a high degree of certainty this thing is going to now take a very different look

But you just don’t know.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Blacklabel: now I see why the jurors were scared of BLM showing up to their house if they acquitted

This requires us to believe in your ability to read minds. It's just not a compelling argument.

I'll stick with the opinion that the jury heard the evidence, especially from the police themselves, that Chauvin did not follow procedure.

The appeal will be heard so Chauvin will have the chance to provide evidence of injustice. That should be sufficient to satisfy your concerns.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But you just don’t know.

Well, we do that’s why we’re talking about this and Chauvin’s lawyer has a good case going forward, now he can claim his client didn’t get a fair trial and a juror was affiliated with the BLM movement and Sharpton and Waters and Gump didn’t help so as a defense lawyer, this is a good day.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

What a mess! How do these things happen? The juror lied and is for all intents and purposes an admitted cop-hater. A biased juror requires there to be a retrial. So we have to go through this all over again! Not only are big cities poorly run but so are their the justice systems. .

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

One problem with the argument for a retrial, Chauvin murdered a man on camera while in uniform and the jury was unanimous. And they didn’t take long to reach a verdict.

That’s the rub with representing a racist murderer: He’s a racist murderer. And this one did it on camera.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am interested to see what the judge has to say about the legality of all this.

Why? You’ve already decided the judge was running a rigged event. What will change your mind?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The juror lied and is for all intents and purposes an admitted cop-hater.

‘For all intents and purposes’? That’s evidence is it? And you are questioning legal procedures?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

But you just don’t know.

Well, we do that’s why we’re talking about this and Chauvin’s lawyer has a good case going forward, now he can claim his client didn’t get a fair trial and a juror was affiliated with the BLM movement and Sharpton and Waters and Gump didn’t help so as a defense lawyer, this is a good day.

Make your mind up. You keep saying ‘we’ don’t t know and then ‘we’ do. Which is it?

It’s a good day if you can imagine someone found guilty of murder goes free? I see...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wolfpack: What a mess! How do these things happen? 

The police department made a very strong case against Chauvin and he was convicted by a jury.

Not rocket science.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If the jury followed the evidence then the video of Chauvin killing Floyd remains the strongest evidence. He was guilty of a serious crime.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

the judge didnt know he had a BLM activist on the jury. Now he does. whats he gonna do about it, to make sure the defendant had a fair trial by an unbiased jury? or a defendant doesnt deserve that anymore?

Why? You’ve already decided the judge was running a rigged event.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

its like our friends on the left are now ok that someone doesnt have the right anymore to get a fair trial with an unbiased jury.

its like they dont remember how many innocent people ended up on death row due to jury bias and misconduct.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

SuperLibToday  10:33 am JST

Chauvin is toast, and rightfully so.

He had a bad rap sheet before last year and he's up for tax evasion charges too. He ought to shut up and take his lumps.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

its like our friends on the left are now ok that someone doesnt have the right anymore to get a fair trial with an unbiased jury.

lol Where is the proof the other 12 jurors were biased? There is none.

its like they dont remember how many innocent people ended up on death row due to jury bias and misconduct.

You'd have a point if the US had a history of discriminating against police or white people, but the exact opposite is true. Usually it is white people and cops doing the discrimination.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don’t know a single person who thinks the guy is innocent

But you’re celebrating ‘a good day’ by hoping he gets a mistrial.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lol Where is the proof the other 12 jurors were biased? There is none.

thats not how this works. only need ONE. there is one now.

Usually it is white people and cops doing the discrimination.

So its ok to discriminate against any white people from now on until forever just because other unrelated and irrelevant white people "usually" do.....blah blah?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Make your mind up. You keep saying ‘we’ don’t t know and then ‘we’ do. Which is it?

We do know he killed Floyd

We do know that a juror was affiliated with the BLM movement. Still a mystery how that could have happened.

We do know that Chauvin didn’t get a fair trial.

It’s a good day if you can imagine someone found guilty of murder goes free? I see.

Again, no one is saying that, but is scary how liberals have this Stalinist thinking that you’re guilty and the perpetrator doesn’t have the right to a fair trial.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

We do know that Chauvin didn’t get a fair trial.

No, you don’t know that.

I know you said today was ‘a good day’. Explain why.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He had a bad rap sheet before last year and he's up for tax evasion charges too. He ought to shut up and take his lumps.

We don’t want to go into Floyd’s troubled past and it was a lengthy one. There was zero justification for his murder. The point is, both men were flawed as we all are. Chauvin is no hero for sure and neither was Floyd and the media leaves that critical point out.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

We don’t want to go into Floyd’s troubled past and it was a lengthy one.

You have already made numerous posts doing exactly that. Why stop now?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Blacklabel: its like our friends on the left are now ok that someone doesnt have the right anymore to get a fair trial with an unbiased jury.

We just don't buy your argument is all. It requires us to believe that multiple layers of the police department lied and were out to get Chauvin, that a guy wearing a t-shirt can't be trusted, and the other members of the jury thought he was innocent as evidenced your mind reading abilities.

It's just not very compelling.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

thats not how this works. only need ONE. there is one now.

Well that's your opinion, but you're not a lawyer.

So its ok to discriminate against any white people from now on until forever just because other unrelated and irrelevant white people "usually" do.....blah blah?

lolz Any proof Chauvin is being discriminated against? Or is the fact he's being held accountable proof of he's being discriminated against? Sad.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You have already made numerous posts doing exactly that. Why stop now?

Exactly, that’s been covered and I wish the media wouldn’t leave that fact out always

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

you dont have to "buy" it. our justice system as designed does not allow bias or misconduct in our jury trial system.

so its always a good day when bias and misconduct is uncovered and identified in our justice system so that it can be corrected.

Just a guy wearing a t-shirt? thats a very convenient, disingenuous and quite inaccurate description of who this person really is.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

no, it is discriminatory that a member of his supposedly fair and impartial jury is a BLM and anti-police activist.

its quite simple to see, if you care to look. dont confuse you dont care with this not being wrong. its wrong.

Or is the fact he's being held accountable proof of he's being discriminated against?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

From the overwhelming evidence, he should never be found not guilty.

We don’t want to go into Floyd’s troubled past and it was a lengthy one. There was zero justification for his murder. The point is, both men were flawed as we all are. Chauvin is no hero for sure and neither was Floyd and the media leaves that critical point out.

Only one man died. Only one man did the killing with the help of three other police officers who are still awaiting trial.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

you dont have to "buy" it. our justice system as designed does not allow bias or misconduct in our jury trial system.

And prior to January 6th folks here were claiming Republicans would overthrow the elections results. They didn't know what they were talking about then and they still don't.

Just a guy wearing a t-shirt? thats a very convenient, disingenuous and quite inaccurate description of who this person really is.

You don't know anything about this person other than the media reports. You have no clue who this person is. And it takes nothing away from the fact that 12 other jurors found him guilty. It take nothing away from the fact that he was caught on camera, his own department testifying against him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With the evidence presented to the court. And the testimony by the likes of the police chief, Derek Chauvin, was given a fair trial and found guilty.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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