Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the kneeling death of George Floyd, will petition the US Supreme Court to review his conviction after the Minnesota state Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal.
At least four of the nine justices must vote to grant a petition for it to move forward to the oral argument stage. The USSC is expected to release orders in ongoing cases on July 24, Aug. 21 and Sept. 8, meaning the Court could act on Chauvin's new case on one of those dates - or it could wait until the new term begins in October.
Chauvin's petition was dismissed by the state supreme court on July 18 in a one-sentence order without explanation, denying the former cop an opportunity to overturn his 22.5-year sentence. He asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to take up the case in May after the state Court of Appeals rejected his claim that he received an unfair trial the month before.
Mr. Chauvin, a white man who was a member of the Minneapolis police department at the time of the incident in March 2020, reportedly kneeled on Mr. Floyd, a black man, for more than nine minutes while he was handcuffed in a prone position after being detained on suspicion of passing a counterfeit 20-dollar bill at a convenience store. A passer-by captured video footage of him complaining while detained that he couldn’t breathe, and the video went viral, leading to protests in the United States and around the world.
The death of Mr. Floyd led to widespread public revulsion and a violent nationwide backlash against police that continues to affect the nation’s politics, criminal justice system, and culture, as well as riots across the country that resulted in billions of dollars in damages. -Epoch Times
In 2021, prosecutors asked jurors to dismiss autopsy findings in the Floyd case.
As Jonathan Turley noted at the time;
When called to the scene due to Floyd allegedly passing counterfeit money, Floyd denied using drugs but later said he was “hooping,” or taking drugs.
The autopsy did not conclude that Floyd died from asphyxiation (though a family pathologist made that finding). Rather, it found “cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).” The state’s criminal complaint against Chauvin said the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.” He also was COVID-19 positive.
Andrew Baker, Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner, strongly suggested that the primary cause was a huge amount of fentanyl in Floyd’s system: “Fentanyl at 11 ng/ml — this is higher than (a) chronic pain patient. If he were found dead at home alone & no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an OD (overdose). Deaths have been certified w/levels of 3.” Baker also told investigators that the autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting Floyd died of asphyxiation.
The toxicology report on Floyd’s blood also noted that “in fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/ml.” Floyd had almost four times the level of fentanyl considered potentially lethal.
Floyd notably repeatedly said that he could not breathe while sitting in the police cruiser and before he was ever restrained on the ground. That is consistent with the level of fentanyl in his system that can cause “slowed or stopped breathing.”
Floyd’s lungs were two to three times the normal size and filled with fluid. “Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs” and it is symptomatic of an opioid overdose, according to Mayo Clinic.
Finally, the restraint using an officer’s knee on an uncooperative suspect was part of the training of officers, and jurors will watch training videotapes employing the same type of restraint as official policy.
Will the Supreme Court entertain Chauvin's request, risking more nationwide riots?