Supreme Court declines appeal from convicted George Floyd killer Derek Chauvin

November 20, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up an appeal from Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd. 

Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years after being found guilty of federal charges of second- and third-degree murder, and after pleading guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights when he knelt on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for nine and a half minutes while detaining him in May 2020.

Floyd’s murder sparked nationwide protests over police brutality and systemic racism across the country throughout the summer of 2020—and ahead of that year’s Presidential Elections.

Attorneys for Chauvin appealed the sentencing to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that jurors were compelled to side against their client to stave off any further unrest. 

“Mr. Chauvin’s case shows the profound difficulties trial courts have to ensure a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury consistently when extreme cases arise,” his attorneys told the Court, adding that the “jurors themselves had a vested interest in finding Mr. Chauvin guilty in order to avoid further rioting in the community in which they lived and the possible threat of physical harm to them or their families.”

The Supreme Court declined the appeal without explanation.

In the aftermath of Floyd’s death Minneapolis City Council approved an agreement with the state to overhaul its policing system. In March of this year, the City Council agreed to numerous changes in its policing policies related to the use of force; stops, searches and arrests; using body-cams and dashboard cameras; officer training and wellness; and responding to mental health and behavioral calls.

PHOTO: George Floyd Memorial per Tony Webster

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