Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, has filed a motion Tuesday, May 4, 2021, to throw out the former police officer’s convictions of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter and start all over again. Nelson argues that his client was deprived of a fair trial due to multiple developments, according to the Minneapolis-based Star-Tribune.
- The defense says jurors should have been sequestered during the entire trial, a motion the judge also denied.
- Because of the inflammatory nature of the murder trial, the defense believes there should have been a change of venue.
- Most problematic is juror Brandon Mitchell. He was photographed wearing a T-shirt with the words “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” during the annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington. The phrase is a clear reference to Chauvin. Also, the rally was organized by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mitchell told the Star Tribune he answered “no” on the early jury questionnaire about whether he attended demonstrations against police brutality in Minneapolis or elsewhere. He said the MLK event was not to protest but to pay homage to King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech.
Chauvin’s defense attorney thinks differently. They are classifying Mitchell as an activist who later became a biased juror against Chauvin.
Nelson also previously cited the words of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, asserting that the California congresswoman indirectly bullied the jurors during their deliberations. Nelson claimed Waters’ words to demonstrators to get “more confrontational” in the streets of Minneapolis if Chauvin was exonerated put pressure on the jury to return with a guilty verdict. However, the judge rejected Nelson’s motion for a mistrial.