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Derek Chauvin appeal denied

Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin crouches next to a car and looks at the camera.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin's appeal has been rejected by the Minnesota District Court of Appeals. Credit: Image of Chauvin from video taken by teenage witness Darnella Frazier at the time of George Floyd's arrest

The Minnesota Appeals Court rejected the former Minneapolis police officer’s argument that he was deprived of a fair trial for the murder of George Floyd.

In an opinion published Monday, Judge Peter Reyes, Jr affirmed the initial verdict, which convicted Chauvin of “second-degree unintentional murder based upon the underlying offense of third-degree assault” and sentenced him to 270 months in prison.

Chauvin’s appeal had argued he was denied a fair trial due to a number of factors, including overwhelming pretrial publicity, the court’s rejection of Chauvin’s requests for a change of venue and to sequester the jury, alleged misconduct by two of the jurors, and numerous instances in which Chauvin argued the district court abused its discretion.

The court opinion states that Chauvin failed to show actual prejudice by the jury, and that “the publicity surrounding Chauvin’s trial was not so corrupting that it created a presumption of prejudice.” The full opinion is published here.

The decision comes just days after the City of Minneapolis approved a settlement totaling close to $9 million for two plaintiffs who encountered Chauvin as a police officer in 2017. In both instances Chauvin kneeled on the plaintiffs necks - the same, unauthorized tactic he used in restraining and ultimately killing George Floyd.

Chauvin is currently serving out his sentence in a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona.

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