MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin regarding his conviction for the murder of George Floyd during a 2020 arrest. Chauvin’s appeal was filed after a Minnesota appellate court upheld his 2021 murder conviction and rejected his request for a new trial.
Chauvin, a white police officer, is currently serving a 22-1/2 year prison sentence for killing Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes during an arrest. This incident sparked widespread protests against police brutality and racism, prompting a national conversation about racial justice and law enforcement’s treatment of Black Americans.
Chauvin’s 2021 conviction marked a pivotal moment in the United States’ troubled racial history and sent a powerful message about accountability in law enforcement. The guilty verdict came after a three-week trial that included testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials, and medical experts.
Chauvin’s attorney argued that the presiding judge made multiple errors during the trial, including his refusal to move the trial outside Minneapolis and sequester the jury due to extensive pre-trial publicity. The attorney also raised concerns about potential juror bias, alleging that one juror failed to disclose attending an “anti-police George Floyd rally.”
In addition to his state conviction, Chauvin pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights in December 2021. He recently filed a motion seeking to overturn that conviction based on what he claims is new evidence revealing that Floyd’s death resulted from an underlying medical condition.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Chauvin’s appeal effectively upholds his murder conviction and sends a clear message about the consequences of police brutality. The case continues to serve as a catalyst for conversations about racial justice and police accountability in the United States, prompting calls for reform within law enforcement agencies.