Chauvin's lawyer seeks new trial, hearing to impeach verdict

Katie Ramirez
May 5, 2021

He also said Mr Cahill abused his discretion when he denied an earlier request for a new trial based on publicity during the proceedings, which Mr Nelson said threatened the fairness of the trial. The image of Juror #52, Brandon Mitchell, wearing a t-shirt that reads: "Get your knees off our necks", has been circulating on social media.

Mitchell was asked during the trial's jury selection if he had ever participated in the demonstrations that erupted in Minneapolis after Floyd's death and whether he had ever participated in any demonstrations against police use of force, outside of the Floyd case.

Nelson said Cahill's refusal to sequester the jury before deliberations resulted in exposure to news coverage that was damaging to Chauvin "as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors", though he did not offer any evidence for his claim.

Two weeks after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson filed a motion for a new trial.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the Death of George Floyd, USA Today reported.

"Just another piece of the appeal process that the officer will win and get a new trial", tweeted a fourth user. The photo was taken while Mitchell was in Washington, D.C. past year to commemorate King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the National Mall.

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During jury selection, Mr Mitchell told the defence lawyer that he had a "very favourable" opinion of Black Lives Matter, but he felt neutral about the pro-police mantra neutral about "Blue Lives Matter". The rally saw relatives of Floyd and Jacob Blake, who was shot by a police officer when resisting arrest. What is known from the record is that the group consisted of four white women, two white men, three black men, one black woman and two women who identify as multiracial.

Civil rights attorney Brian Dunn said the photo is "undeniably suggestive of a possible bias in this juror" but the key question is whether Mitchell "lied about, or failed to provide complete answers on whether he has engaged in public activism, or whether he has any affiliations with BLM that go beyond the mere wearing of the shirt".

Author David Steele was among those who didn't think Mitchell's lack of impartiality was a concern. Cahill said that Waters' rhetoric tarnished the proceeding and can lead to an appeal in an event of a conviction and overturned.

Mitchell told the Tribune that he replied "no" to both questions.

Chauvin, who is being held in solitary confinement at a Minnesota prison while awaiting his June 25 sentencing, faces as much as 40 years under enhanced sentencing guidelines requested by the state.

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