Derek Chauvin's legal team requests new trial, alleging jury misconduct

Lawrence Kim
May 5, 2021

Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson asserts in the filing that Judge Peter Cahill "abused" his discretion in numerous ways, such as denying Chauvin a change of venue, denying an earlier request for a new trial "on the grounds that 'publicity during the proceedings threaten [ed] the fairness of the trial, '" and for failing to sequester the jury in the high-profile case.

In a Facebook post dated August 31, 2020, Mitchell was pictured wearing a shirt with an image of Martin Luther King along with the words, "Get your knee off our necks" and "BLM", which is short for Black Loves Matter.

The defence will argue the image is proof that Mitchell was not impartial.

"Just another piece of the appeal process that the officer will win and get a new trial", tweeted a fourth user. The second asked: "Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?"

Steve Tuller, another jury selection expert, agreed. During jury selection, he also told Nelson that he had a "very favourable" opinion of Black Lives Matter, and that he knew some "great guys" who were police officers.

He said he was capable of being impartial as a juror.

"It was for voter turnout for being a part of that - for being able to attend the same location that Martin Luther King gave his speech, the historic moment", Mitchell said.

According to the photo's caption, the image was captured in Washington, D.C., around the same time thousands of protesters descended upon the National Mall in the nation's capitol for the "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" March to express their support for Floyd and other black people who were killed by law enforcement and protest against police violence. The date of the March on Washington is the date ...

Mr Mitchell, the first juror to publicly identify himself, acknowledged attending the rally in Washington last August but said he considered it to be an event commemorating King's speech and "100 per cent not" a march for Mr Floyd.

Judge Cahill will now have to determine whether Mitchell "lied about, or failed to provide complete answers on whether he has engaged in activism, or whether he has any affiliations with Black Lives Matter that go beyond the mere wearing of the shirt", Dunn added.

Chauvin is now awaiting sentencing, which could come as early as this month or sometime in June. Mitchell helped convince those who weren't sure that they should convict Chauvin on all three counts. State sentencing guidelines recommend 12.5 years in prison for a conviction on unintentional second-degree murder for someone with no criminal history.

Such circumstances could include Chauvin treating Floyd with particular cruelty and abusing his power as a police officer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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