Derek Chauvin’s protection hinges on an argument that George Floyd’s drug use, not Mr. Chauvin’s knee, precipitated his demise. To that finish, the protection requested permission to current an arrest of Mr. Floyd in Could 2019 — exposing jurors to Mr. Floyd’s historical past of interactions with legislation enforcement.
Decide Peter Cahill, who has maintained that Mr. Floyd’s previous actions are largely irrelevant to the case, initially mentioned no.
However a second search of Squad 320, the patrol automobile that George Floyd was briefly put into on the night he died, prompted the choose to alter his thoughts.
The 2019 arrest started with a visitors cease. Whereas in custody, Mr. Floyd advised officers that he had swallowed a number of tablets of Percocet, a robust narcotic. He was taken to the hospital.
The protection argued that the arrest was remarkably much like the episode that led to his demise a yr later.
In January, Mr. Chauvin’s legal professionals requested to examine Squad 320, and the group noticed what turned out to be fragments of tablets containing methamphetamine and Mr. Floyd’s DNA.
The proof supported the protection rivalry that in each arrests, Mr. Floyd ingested medication when the police approached.
On that foundation, Decide Cahill agreed to permit the protection to current a portion of the police physique digicam video from 2019 and testimony from the paramedic who handled Mr. Floyd. However he mentioned the protection couldn’t argue that Mr. Floyd had a sample of swallowing tablets with a purpose to be taken to the hospital as a substitute of jail.
Till now, no clarification has been given as to why the medication weren’t discovered the primary time. The choose known as the oversight “mind-boggling.”
The second search of the automobile was addressed briefly within the questioning of Agent James Ryerson of the state Bureau of Prison Apprehension, which carried out the investigation of Mr. Floyd’s demise, and can likely come up once more with McKenzie Anderson, who was in command of the automobile searches, on the stand.
In court docket on Wednesday, Eric Nelson, the protection lawyer, repeatedly performed video of Mr. Floyd crying out, asking witnesses if Mr. Floyd was saying, “I ate too many medication.” One witness, Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Division, a use-of-force knowledgeable, mentioned Mr. Floyd’s phrases have been unintelligible.
When questioned by Mr. Nelson, Agent Reyerson first agreed that he had heard these phrases, however when requested once more by prosecutors, he mentioned he thought Mr. Floyd may be shouting, “I ain’t do no medication.”