The justice system in the United States ensures every accused gets a fair trial. Is that even possible for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin?
Chauvin’s legal team is requesting a new trial due to being denied a change in venue and other issues, Breitbart reported. Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 during an arrest.
There were many concerns about Chauvin’s ability to have a fair trial along the way. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, began arguing for the trial to be moved out of Hennepin County where the city of Minneapolis is located before proceedings even began.
The viral video of Chauvin’s encounter with Floyd showing the former officer pinning Floyd to the ground under his knee for nearly nine minutes sparked off area riots that persisted for weeks. The jury was picked from people who may have been directly impacted by those riots and could have had knowledge of the incident.
Then there was Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) who allegedly encouraged unrest in the streets if the jury did not convict. This was while the trial was still moving forward and while the jury was not sequestered or even asked to avoid media. Nelson asserted that those kinds of remarks “were so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings.”
Nelson also charged that the State of Minnesota committed prosecutorial misconduct “including but not limited to: disparaging the Defense; improper vouching; and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses.” The state also did not compel Floyd’s suspected drug dealer, Morries Hall, to testify as Nelson believed they should have.
Those assertions are compelling enough. However, recent revelations about a member of the jury who attended one of the Black Lives Matter protests leaves room for doubt about his ability to be impartial. Brandon Mitchell appeared in a photo at a Washington, D.C. protest last summer “wearing a T-shirt with … the words, ‘GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS’ and ‘BLM,’ for Black Lives Matter.”
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 2, 2021
It appears Chauvin may have been convicted before he ever set foot in a courtroom. Even with a new trial, it’s nearly impossible to assume Chauvin will ever get a fair shot at justice with so much stacked against him.