Supreme Court rejects Derek Chauvin’s appeal in murder of George Floyd

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin’s appeal in his conviction in the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Chauvin had asked the nation’s high court to hear his case after the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to do so earlier this year. Prior to that, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

The justices did not issue comments or explanation with the rejection.

Chauvin was convicted and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison in 2021. He pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations in 2021 and was given an additional sentence a year later. He has also filed a motion to have that conviction reversed separately based on a pathologist’s theory that Floyd died of an unrelated medical condition.

He is serving both sentences concurrently.

Chauvin, 47, who was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, argued that his Minnesota trial was tainted by negative publicity, including viral videos taken by bystanders that showed him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes as Floyd repeated “I can’t breathe.” Chauvin’s lawyers argued that he should have received a change of venue.

Floyd, who was Black, died on May 25, 2020.

Chauvin’s lawyers also argued that because of racial tensions in Minneapolis, the jury in his state trial was under intense pressure to find him guilty to avoid violence for themselves, their families and the community in the event of an acquittal or mistrial.

Floyd’s murder kicked off worldwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Three other former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death — J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, who also restrained him, and Tou Thao, who kept a growing crowd at bay — were also charged and convicted and are serving shorter sentences.