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Derek Chauvin “financially unable” to afford lawyer in civil rights case, judge says

U.S. Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson appointed Eric Nelson, the lawyer who represented Chauvin during his murder trial, to the case.

Derek Chauvin Minnesota Department of Corrections

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted for the murder of George Floyd, has been deemed “financially unable” to hire an attorney to represent him in his civil rights case, according to the Insider. On Tuesday (June 1), U.S. Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson appointed Eric Nelson, the defense lawyer who represented Chauvin during his murder trial, to the case.

Chauvin appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday on charges that he willfully violated Floyd’s constitutional rights as he restrained him face-down on the pavement for more than nine minutes while he yelled out that he couldn't breathe.

Chauvin is charged with unreasonable force by a police officer. The document from the Department of Justice (DOJ) states, “Chauvin held his left knee across George Floyd’s neck, and his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm as Mr. Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed, and unremitting, and kept his knees on Mr. Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive.”

The former cop is also charged for the 2017 arrest of a 14-year-old boy. In this case, Chauvin held his knee on the child’s upper back and neck for more than 17 minutes while he was handcuffed. The young boy was not resisting.

Videos from the incident show the convicted murderer hitting the teen in the head and pinning him to the ground with his knee. He ignored the boy when he said that he couldn't breathe.

In April, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his involvement in Floyd’s death. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25. Last month, Nelson filed a motion on behalf of his client for a new trial, alleging that Chauvin’s ability to have a fair trial was affected by the case’s publicity. The motion said that the court abused its discretion by denying their requests for the trial to be moved outside of Minneapolis.

Chauvin has not yet entered a plea on the civil rights charges. An arraignment date has not yet been set.

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