Derek Chauvin’s attorney has filed a motion requesting the court to throw out his client’s guilty verdicts and schedule a new trial Tuesday.
In the filing, Eric Nelson argues that the court “abused its discretion” by denying his motion for a change of venue from Hennepin County.
Nelson wrote, “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.”
The new trial request comes on the heels of revelations that one of the jurors falsely completed a questionnaire before being selected. All potential jurors were required to fill out a questionnaire asking whether they or anyone close to them had “participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality.”
Juror Brandon Mitchell told The Star Tribune that he had answered no to the question. However, pictures surfaced online appearing to show Mitchell participating in the March on Washington back in August. The march commemorated the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.
In the image, Mitchell is wearing a T-shirt featuring the image of Dr. King, surrounded by text that reads “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” and “BLM.”
Mitchell denies his participation was connected to Floyd’s killing.
“I’d never been to [Washington] D.C.,” Mitchell told the Star Tribune. “The opportunity to go to D.C., the opportunity to be around thousands and thousands of Black people; I just thought it was a good opportunity to be a part of something.”
During questioning, Mitchell appeared to demonstrate a favorable view of the organization.
When Nelson asked Mitchell what he had meant when he wrote on the questionnaire, “Black lives just want to be treated as equals and not killed or treated in an aggressive manner simply because they’re Black,” Mitchell responded that the statement was factual — that Black lives do matter.
A march to commemorate Dr. King is not the same as a rally to protest the death of George Floyd.
Mitchell was not named in the filing.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter last month for the Memorial Day murder of Floyd.