Crime EXPLAINER: Judge lets jury decide Floyd's remark about drugs
Derek Chauvin trial: A week of emotional and potentially devastating testimony surrounding George Floyd's death
Pain, trauma and regret spilled out from a Minneapolis courtroom during a first week of critical testimony in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd. © Pool Minneapolis Police Lt. Richard Zimmerman said Chauvin's actions after Floyd was handcuffed and in a prone position were "uncalled for" and "totally unnecessary." The week concluded with potentially devastating testimony from the police department's most senior officer, who called Chauvin's actions on the day of Floyd's death "totally unnecessary.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The judge overseeing the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of George Floyd said Monday that he'll leave it up to the jury to sort out whether Floyd yelled “I ate too many drugs” or “I ain’t do no drugs” as three officers pinned him to the ground.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill made the ruling as attorneys argued over whether to allow the testimony of a use-of-force expert for the prosecution, Seth Stoughton, a professor at the University of South Carolina Law School. Prosecutors wanted him to testify from an academic perspective on whether Chauvin used reasonable force and about national policing standards.
Minneapolis officers line up to reject Chauvin's actions
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parade of Minneapolis police officers rejecting a former officer’s actions in restraining George Floyd continued at his murder trial, including a use-of-force instructor who said officers were coached to “stay away from the neck when possible.” Lt. Johnny Mercil on Tuesday became the latest member of the Minneapolis force to take the stand as part of an effort by prosecutors to dismantle the argument that Derek Chauvin was doing what he was trained to do when he put his knee on George Floyd’s neck last May.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher also asked Cahill to allow Stoughton to tell the jury about his separate analysis of what Floyd said in the audio clip that was played for the jury last Wednesday. He said Stoughton would testify that he couldn't tell what Floyd said, despite listening several times. The prosecutor also wanted to play the jury a slowed-down, subtitled version of the clip to back up the professor's testimony.
Day 9 of Chauvin trial: Expert witness Tobin says Chauvin's knee cut off Floyd's air
Testimony from pulmonologist Martin Tobin dominated the ninth day of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin's trial, as the doctor provided jurors comment about George Floyd's ability to breathe while under restraint. During his time at the stand, Tobin refuted the impact fentanyl had on Floyd's breathing just before he lost consciousness, and pushed back against claims that preexisting health conditions caused his death. The defenseDuring his time at the stand, Tobin refuted the impact fentanyl had on Floyd's breathing just before he lost consciousness, and pushed back against claims that preexisting health conditions caused his death.
Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson objected to allowing that testimony or the slowed-down clip. He argued prosecutors dropped that plan on the defense just last Friday and that he hadn't been given enough time to prepare a response.
Part of Nelson's strategy for defending Chauvin against murder and manslaughter charges has been toand for Floyd’s death last May 25 away from Chauvin — a white officer who prosecutors say knelt on the Black man’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes — and onto Floyd himself for using illegal drugs. An autopsy found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system, though prosecution Floyd.
Nelson first played the short clip with the disputed quote, which came from another officer’s body camera video, during the testimony of Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who served as a prosecution use-of-force expert. The video shows a chaotic and noisy scene as Floyd, handcuffed and laying on his stomach, yelled and moaned in distress.
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.
“Does it sound like he says, ‘I ate too many drugs?’” Nelson asked.
“I can’t make that out,” Stiger replied. Nelson let the subject drop with Stiger, but replayed the clip and posed the question again for the lead investigator from the MinnesotaSenior Special Agent James Reyerson.
The agent agreed with Nelson that that’s what Floyd appeared to say.
But prosecutor Matthew Frank wasn’t going to let that stand. He got Reyerson to say he had not closely listened to that passage before. After a break to regroup, Frank then replayed a longer clip from the same body cam video,
Inside Cup Foods, where it seems George Floyd never left
Thanks to videos taken inside and outside the Cup Foods store in South Minneapolis, its aisles and customers are now known around the world. It's linked forever to the death of George Floyd and racial injustice in the United States. Yet Cup Foods is still open for business, selling batteries, a pack of gum or a bag of spinach.Once inside, you see the aisle where Floyd chatted with another customer and staff before asking to buy a pack of cigarettes. It's a scene that was replayed in court in the trial of the man accused of killing him, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
“Having heard it in context, you’re able to tell what Mr. Floyd is saying there?” Frank asked.
“I believe Mr. Floyd was saying, ‘I ain’t do no drugs,’” Reyerson replied.
Cahill said Monday that he would allow limited testimony from Stoughton on his view that Chauvin's use of force violated national standards. But he agreed with Nelson that it should be up jurors to decide what Floyd actually said, if they think it's important. He also said he was surprised that prosecutors didn’t object when Nelson brought up the clip last week.
“The video is what it is. The jury can listen to it. They can make up their own mind," Cahill said.
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.
Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at:
Derek Chauvin takes the Fifth, testimony ends, closings next in trial of George Floyd's death .
When closing arguments are delivered Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, jurors will have sat through the testimony of seven witnesses for the defense and 38 for the prosecution. But the jury did not hear from the former Minneapolis police officer.But the jury did not hear from the former Minneapolis police officer, who on Thursday removed his face covering to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.