Derek Chauvin files his own appeal after being denied a public defender

Chauvin was sentenced in June to 22.5 years in prison in the death of George Floyd.

Derek Chauvin addresses the court in June along with his attorney, Eric Nelson. (Alpha News/YouTube)

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has appealed his murder conviction by himself, with no public defender to represent him.

Documents list Chauvin as the only appellant under a section for the names and contact information of both appellant and respondent attorneys, meaning he is slated to represent himself during the appeal hearing.

According to FOX 9, however, he has requested a stay on the appeal until an attorney can represent him.

Chauvin filed the appeal Thursday, the last possible day before his 90-day window expired. He filled out the paperwork himself and claimed he no longer has money to pay for an appeal attorney.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association had been paying for legal fees during his state trial, but the union can no longer fund him now that he’s been convicted.

Attorney Joe Tamburino told WCCO that Chauvin’s lack of representation is bizarre.

“He’s been denied a public defender. He’s in prison. He’s in Oak Park Heights for the next 22-plus years. I don’t know why that was denied,” he told the station.

Chauvin’s appeal lists 14 grievances with the state of Minnesota and its district court, all more or less relating to prosecutorial misconduct, juror misconduct, and the denial of various motions, including a change of venue, a new trial, and the sequestering of the jury.

Although he currently has no attorney for the appeal, Chauvin has retained his trial lawyer Eric Nelson for the federal case against him, according to WCCO. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty for allegedly violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

The former police officer was convicted in April of third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter, and was sentenced in June to 22.5 years in prison, which was 10 years higher than the presumptive sentence.

Several high-profile leftists, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, have all but admitted since Chauvin’s conviction and sentencing that mob pressure was integral to the outcome.

“It is imperative that communities keep up the pressure for reform and accountability, and finally end the cycle of inaction,” Ellison wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “My office could not have led the prosecution of Chauvin without the help of ordinary people who courageously bore witness to Floyd’s death, and the pressure from a community that demanded accountability and action.”

Other leftists, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, said that Chauvin’s conviction serves as “another step on the path to accountability” but is not “true justice.”

“True justice will require us as a community and as a nation to address the systems of oppression that create the conditions for injustice,” Omar wrote in a June 25 statement. “True justice will require us to understand how those who take an oath to protect us repeatedly take the lives of young Black and brown people. True justice will require us to ask why we continue to spend billions on increasingly militarized police departments, while basic needs like healthcare, housing and hunger are neglected.”


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.