Crime Man in car with George Floyd the day he died doesn't want to testify
EXPLAINER: Prosecution explores Floyd's 'spark of life'
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors trying a white former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death put one of Floyd’s brothers on the witness stand Monday in a further effort to humanize him for the jury and counter the defense narrative that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death due to his use of illegal drugs. Philonise Floyd, who has frequently occupied the Floyd family's sole seat in the socially distanced courtroom, was allowed to testify under a legal doctrine called “spark of life.
A key witness in the trial of Derek Chauvin is threatening to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because his lawyer contends anything he says about his alleged drug activity withcould leave him vulnerable to being charged with third-degree murder in the death of the 46-year-old Black man.
Morries Hall, currently in jail, appeared via Zoom at a court hearing on Tuesday morning in which his attorney argued he has no immunity from prosecution that stems from testimony about his and Floyd's behavior while seated in a Mercedes Benz SUV shortly before police arrived on May 25 and arrested Floyd.
Defense set to take turn in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death was set to start presenting its case Tuesday, following 11 days of a prosecution narrative that combined wrenching video with clinical analysis by medical and use-of-force experts to condemn Derek Chauvin's actions. Prosecutors called their final witnesses Monday, leaving only some administrative matters before they were expected to rest Tuesday. Once the defense takes over, Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd's drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin's actions, that killed him.
In his opening statement last week, Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, told the jury they would hear from Hall, who has been identified during trial testimony as an alleged drug dealer from whom Floyd obtained narcotics.
"This will include evidence that while they were in the car, Mr. Floyd consumed what were thought to be two Percoset [painkiller] pills," Nelson said during his opening statement, naming Hall and Shawanda Hill, Floyd's former girlfriend, as passengers in the SUV with Floyd outside the Cup Foods prior to police arriving on scene.
Police chief: Fired cop broke policy in pinning Floyd
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis police chief who called George Floyd's death “murder” soon after it happened testified that Officer Derek Chauvin had clearly violated department policy when he pinned Floyd's neck beneath his knee for more than 9 minutes. Continuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainlyContinuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday on D
Police were called to the store after Floyd allegedly used a phony $20 bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes.
"Mr. Floyd's friends will explain that Mr. Floyd fell asleep in the car and that they couldn't wake him up to get going, that they thought the police might be coming because now the store [employees] were coming out," Nelson said.
Nelson has been attempting to undermine the prosecution's primary allegation that Chauvin killed Floyd by burying his knee in the man's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, cutting off blood to his brain. Nelson has countered that a combination of the powerful drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine, both found in Floyd's system during an autopsy, and undetected heart disease is what killed the man, making Hall a valuable witness to Chauvin's defense.
Hall's lawyer, Adrienne Cousins, an assistant Hennepin County public defender, filed a motion to quash subpoenas from both the prosecution and defense for her client to take the witness stand.
Derek Chauvin used force against arrestees 6 other times. The jury in the George Floyd case won't hear about them.
Prosecutors tried to introduce six incidents in which they say Derek Chauvin used unreasonable force on people. The judge didn't allow them.The jury considering murder and manslaughter charges against Chauvin won't hear about any of them. And their verdict may be influenced as much by what they don't know as what they do.
"Your honor, I cannot envision any topic that Mr. Hall would be called to testify on that would be both relevant to the case that would not incriminate him," Cousins told Judge Peter Cahill during Tuesday's hearing, with the jury absent from the courtroom. "Mr. Hall's testimony in these matters would specifically put him in the position of being in very close proximity to Mr. Floyd, in a vehicle where drugs were found during a search by police following Floyd's death."
Courtney Ross, Floyd's girlfriend at the time of his death, last week gave testimony that Hall sold drugs to Floyd. Cousins said Hall's testimony could serve as a "link in the chain" for the drugs Floyd ingested shortly before his death, leaving him open to a third-degree murder charge.
Nelson said that in addition to Floyd's behavior in the SUV that day, he also wants to question Hall about where Floyd got the counterfeit $20 bill, whether Floyd obtained drugs from him, their activities before they arrived at Cup Foods, their interactions with employees inside the store, why he and Floyd gave police false names and why Hall left the state immediately after Floyd's death. He also said he intends to ask Hall about what was in a backpack he was seen holding during the encounter with police.
First responders' testimony offers somber picture of a lifeless George Floyd when medics arrived
Paramedics' testimony on Thursday during the trial of Derek Chauvin painted a somber picture of an unresponsive George Floyd shortly after they arrived at the scene, where the former police officer was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck last May.Their testimony provided jurors with a detailed and disturbing medical account of the events that transpired after Floyd's arrest as medics worked to resuscitate him. These recollections marked a shift in the trial that had thus far been dominated largely by emotional eyewitness testimony and gripping bystander video footage for the past three days.
"Mr. Hall was seen on a security camera taking something out of a backpack and throwing it," Nelson said during Tuesday's hearing. "I would ask him ... what it was that he threw."
Cahill asked Nelson to put his questions in writing and said he is considering allowing him only to question Hall about his observations of Floyd suddenly falling asleep in the SUV, but nothing further. He said he will hold another hearing out of the jury's presence to determine if it is possible for Hall to answer the limited questions without incriminating himself.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank told Cahill that such a narrow scope of questioning would create a "huge problem" for the prosecution.
"This questioning would not exist in a vacuum," Frank argued. "There would be other questioning and we would have the right to question him about his credibility and other aspects of that interaction that would lead, unfortunately and potentially, to him invoking question by question in front of the jury.
"Our dog in the fight is a fair trial for Mr. Chauvin and one trial," Frank said. "What we can't have is an invocation of this privilege in front of the jury."
Cahill said he will make a decision on whether to allow Hall to take the witness stand following the next hearing on the matter, which he intends to schedule once Nelson submits his question in writing.
Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs .
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd died of a lack of oxygen from the way he was held down by police, a retired forensic pathologist testified Friday at former Officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial. The testimony of Lindsey Thomas, who retired in 2017 from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minneapolis, bolstered the findings of other experts on Thursday who rejected the defense theory that Floyd’s drug use and underlying health problems killed him.