MINNEAPOLIS — The attorney representing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed an appeal for a new trial in the murder of George Floyd.
In an 82-page brief, attorney William Mohrman argued that pre-trial publicity, the threat of further rioting and several other reasons made for an unfair trial.
Another point made by Mohrman was that "numerous" jurors had expressed concerns for their own personal safety, according to court documents. Chauvin's attorney also argues that jurors were not sequestered as unrest followed the death of Daunte Wright during the last week of the trial.
"The threat of violence here was real in the extreme. The courthouse was surrounded by barbed wire and soldiers during the trial. Prior to jury deliberations, National Guard troops were deployed throughout Minneapolis, businesses boarded up their buildings and schools were closed "bracing for a riot" in the event Chauvin's acquittal. The jurors, because they were not sequestered, saw this every day," reads the brief filed by Mohrman.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death last April. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison and is currently being held in Minnesota's only maximum security prison, Oak Park Heights.
The former MPD officer pleaded guilty to federal charges in December involving his role in depriving Floyd of his civil rights.