An attorney for one of the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd is arguing that Floyd overdosed on fentanyl during the arrest and thus the officers should not have been charged with his murder.
Citing newly released body camera footage of the May 25 incident, attorney Earl Gray, who is representing former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, said Floyd took “2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose,” before being taken to the ground by police.
The Hennepin County medical examiner ruled Floyd’s cause of death “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” The report found Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system when he died and also tested positive for the coronavirus.
A second autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family listed his cause of death as “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”
“All he had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr. Floyd overdosed on Fentanyl,” Gray wrote in court documents filed this week. “Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr. Floyd’s intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death.”
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes when officers responded to a call from a convenience store that a customer used a counterfeit bill.
Floyd was seen in widely circulated videos pleading with Chauvin and the three other officers restraining him to get off of him, saying, “I can’t breathe,” and crying out for his mother.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. Lane and two other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Floyd’s case has galvanized social justice activists across the country, sparking massive protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the United States.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution against the officers involved in Floyd’s death, has promised to bring justice to Floyd’s family.
“I think it is not good when the image of the victim gets tarnished in situations like this,” Ellison said in June of attempts by legal representatives of the defendants in the case to shift blame in Floyd’s death. “Mr. Floyd’s not on trial. Those four people who were charged in the complaint are.”
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘Contributed to his own death’: Lawyer for officer charged in George Floyd case argues drug overdose killed him