Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be sentenced this Friday for the death of African-American George Floyd, before a judge considering a prison sentence that experts say could be up to 30 years.
Chauvin, 45, was convicted of three counts of murder in April for the death of the man.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020 after being arrested on suspicion of paying for a pack of cigarettes with a fake $ 20 bill at a convenience store. He panicked, claimed he was claustrophobic, and struggled with officers when they tried to get him into the patrol. He was subdued against the ground.
The centerpiece of the case was the video captured by a witness showing Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” as people gathered around the scene yelled at Chauvin to stop pressing his knee against him. the man’s neck for about nine and a half minutes, according to authorities. Floyd gradually lost consciousness.
The jury, made up of six white and six black or mixed race people, rendered its verdict after deliberating about 10 hours for two days. Chauvin was convicted of three counts: involuntary manslaughter, third degree manslaughter, and second degree manslaughter.
President Joe Biden accepted the verdict, declaring that Floyd’s death “was a murder in broad daylight, and he removed the blindfold from everyone,” so that systemic racism could be seen.
Chauvin’s defense presented in May a motion to request a new trial of this case.
The motion, filed by defense attorney Eric Nelson in a Minneapolis court, argues that during the trial against Chauvin there was an “abuse of discretion that deprived the defendant of a fair trial, misconduct by the prosecutor and jury, errors of law in the trial and a verdict contrary to the law ”.
“The publicity here was so pervasive and so damaging before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural flaw in the process,” Nelson wrote.
According to the lawyer, the prosecutors committed misconduct such as “belittling the defense, improperly attesting, and not adequately preparing their witnesses.”