WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin 's appeal of his conviction for second-degree murder in the killing of George Floyd.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place state court rulings affirming Chauvin’s conviction and 22 1/2-year sentence.
Chauvin's lawyers argued that their client was denied a fair trial in 2021 because of pretrial publicity and concerns for violence in the event of an acquittal.
Floyd, who was Black, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pressed a knee on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes on the street outside a convenience store where Floyd tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. A bystander video captured Floyd’s fading cries of “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s death touched off protests worldwide, some of which turned violent, and forced a national reckoning with police brutality and racism that is still playing out.
Chauvin is separately appealing his conviction on federal civil rights charges.
Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, and Chauvin Trial
It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.
George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression.
After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.
A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe."
The now historic response began the following day.
Gallery Credit: Kim David