*Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in April of the murder of George Floyd.
Chauvin, a white man, was found guilty on April 20 on all counts of murdering Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis on May 25 2020 by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes until he died.
In video footage of the incident, Floyd can be heard repeating, “I can’t breathe.
A jury convicted Chauvin of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Last month, his attorney filed court documents seeking a new trial. Defense Attorney Eric Nelson has asked for less than the 15-year maximum in state sentencing guidelines or probation.
Nelson claims the ex-officer didn’t get a fair trial due to the high-profile publicity of the case.
“The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings,” the filing said. It also accused prosecutors of “pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” for disparaging the defense and failing to adequately prepare witnesses, per MSN.
The filing also seeks a hearing to “impeach the verdict,” on the grounds that “the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations.”
Chauvin is expected to be sentenced June 25. In May, Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers charged in the Floyd case were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating Floyd’s constitutional rights.
In his filing, Nelson noted that Chauvin has a low risk of reoffending and that his community would support him if he were released early or sentenced to time served and given probation.
“Mr. Chauvin did not intend to cause George Floyd’s death,” Nelson wrote. “He believed he was doing his job.”
Prosecutors disagree and believe Chauvin should be sentenced to damn near the maximum recommended, or 30 years.
“Such a sentence would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community,” prosecutors wrote.