The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd, whose killing reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked worldwide protests in summer 2020.
Chauvin had asked the justices to hear his case after Minnesota’s top court declined to do so.
The justices declined to take up Chauvin’s appeal, letting his conviction stand.
Video footage spread widely on social media showing Floyd pleading “I can’t breathe” as the then-Minneapolis police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Protesters in cities nationwide and elsewhere took to the streets following Floyd’s death, and demonstrations continued into Chauvin’s state murder trial.
Nearly 11 months after Floyd’s killing, a jury convicted Chauvin on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin, 47, has been appealing his conviction on various grounds while he serves a more than 22-year prison sentence.
Citing prejudicial pretrial publicity, Chauvin sought the Supreme Court’s review to decide whether he was improperly denied a venue change.
Chauvin also wanted the justices to review his conviction to determine whether his trial judge was obligated to hold a hearing to consider allegations of juror misconduct discovered after the verdict was issued.
Chauvin noted fears of riots in Minneapolis as the city braced for a verdict, arguing that jurors had a personal vested interest in finding Chauvin guilty to avoid threats of violence to their families and the community.
“Mr. Chauvin’s case shows the profound difficulties trial courts have to ensure a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury consistently when extreme cases arise,” his attorney wrote.
Following his murder conviction, Chauvin later pleaded guilty to criminal charges for depriving George Floyd and a then-14-year-old boy of their civil rights on separate occasions. He was sentenced to serve 252 months in prison in the federal case.
Last week, Chauvin made another attempt to overturn that conviction, contending that new evidence reveals he didn’t cause Floyd’s death.