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Court asked to void verdict against Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s murder

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An attorney for Derek Chauvin asked an appeals court Wednesday to throw out the former Minneapolis police officer’s convictions in the murder of George Floyd, arguing that legal and procedural errors deprived him of a fair trial.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned the Black man to the ground with his knee on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes. A bystander video captured Floyd’s fading cries of “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s death touched off protests around the world and forced a national reckoning with police brutality and racism.

Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, told a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals that the trial judge should have moved the case out of Minneapolis because of extensive pretrial publicity and unprecedented security precautions due to protest fears.

“The primary issue on this appeal is whether a criminal defendant can get a fair trial consistent with constitutional requirements in a courthouse surrounded by concrete block, barbed wire, two armored personnel carriers, and a squad of National Guard troops, all of which or whom are there for one purpose: in the event that the jury acquits the defendant,”…

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