A lawyer for former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of the manslaughter of African American George Floyd without waiting for a verdict in the case, filed on Monday, April 19, a petition for a due process violation during the trial, but was refused. This is reported by the TV channel ABC News…
Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked to take into account that the jury was not sufficiently isolated from media reports. He noted that the topic of Floyd’s death is actively covered in the United States, and many journalists, even before the jury’s verdict, considers Chauvin guilty. Nelson added that he received “thousands of emails” threatening him for being the ex-policeman’s lawyer.
In addition, a spokesman for the defendant stressed that last week, Rep. Maxine Waters, a black Democrat, made a statement publicly expressing confidence that the jury should find Chauvin guilty of murder. Waters stressed that if not, African American rights activists need to “stay on the streets” and act “more confrontationally.”
“I know about the media reports, I know that Rep. Waters spoke about this trial and that any verdict other than a murder conviction is inadmissible,” said Judge Peter Cahill. He added that he regretted that officials did not stop talking about the case, “especially in a way that is disrespectful to the rule of law and the judiciary.”
At the same time, the judge refused to satisfy the defense motion, adding that “the opinion of the congressman does not really matter much.” However, he noted that lawyer Chauvin has already had a weighty basis to challenge the results of this trial, although it has not yet been completed. As pointed out by Cahill, this could lead to the fact that “the results of this trial may be overturned.”
The ex-policeman’s trial began in March. Earlier, the chief medical examiner of Hennepin County (Minnesota) Andrew Baker said that Floyd died as a result of the use of force by the police during the arrest, but this was also facilitated by his heart disease and his use of drugs.
In turn, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson noted that Floyd’s death could have been heart disease or the use of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
After the death of an African American, there have been massive protests and riots in the United States. To restore calm, the US National Guard joined the local law enforcement agencies. In about 40 cities, including Washington and New York, curfews were imposed.
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