Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request to review the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty in the 2020 death of George Floyd, which sparked the nationwide protests.
The Supreme Court declined to review the verdict in the case after Minnesota's Supreme Court also elected not to hear the challenge.
None of the justices commented on the decision to pass on hearing the appeal.
Chauvin, who is White, was convicted in April 2021 on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, in the May 25, 2020, killing of Floyd, a Black man.
Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes and ignored his protests that he couldn't breathe before dying during an arrest. A bystander used her cellphone to video most of the encounter, sparking anger around the country when it went viral on social media.
The video became the decisive piece of evidence against Chauvin in the case and sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racial discrimination.
Chauvin's attorneys had argued in their appeal that the former officer suffered from prejudicial pretrial publicity and that he was denied a venue change. They suggested that jurors leaned toward conviction to avoid civil unrest rather an actual guilt.
"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," Chauvin's attorneys said in their appeal.
"This was particularly true here when the jurors themselves had a vested interest in finding Mr. Chauvin guilty in order to avoid further rioting in the community in which they lived and the possible threat of physical harm to them or their families."