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The lawyer for one of the Minneapolis police officers charged with killing George Floyd in May says charges should be dropped against his client because the victim overdosed on fentanyl.
In a Monday court filing, attorney Earl Gray, who is representing former police officer Thomas Lane, bodycam footage shows a disappearing white spot on Floyd’s tongue looks like “2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose.”
“The State’s Response is a narrative fiction, wrong on the facts, misreading the law. Officer Lane did nothing wrong,” the filing begins.
“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,” said the filing, FOX 26 reported.
“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.”
An autopsy on Floyd by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner showed that he had “potential intoxicants” in his system at the time of his death, which occurred as he was being physically pinned to the street by ex-officer Derek Chauvin. It also showed that he had underlying health conditions and likely suffered a heart attack at the time he was being restrained. The official report also that he did not die from asphyxiation.
“The new report also notes other significant conditions such as arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; and recent methamphetamine use,” FOX 9 reported in June.
That said, the medical examiner nevertheless ruled the death a homicide.
Floyd died the evening of May 25 as he was being detained for allegedly passing a phony $20 bill. Chauvin was seen kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
There were three other officers on the scene. Floyd pleaded with the officers to let him up so he could breathe. All four were fired from the department following the incident.
Chauvin faces charges of second- and third-degree murder along with second-degree manslaughter. Lane, as well as former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Previously, Gray filed a pair of body cam videos as evidence he says exonerates his client.
In Monday’s court filing, Gray argued there is not enough evidence to charge Lane, a former rookie officer, with those crimes. He reiterated earlier arguments that Floyd swallowed the drugs as officers were preparing to take him into custody.
“The 911 call Officer Lane responded to, originating at the Cup Foods Store and indicated that Mr. Floyd was ‘awfully drunk’ and ‘not in control of himself,’” the filing noted.
“Mr. Floyd refused Officer Lane’s command to keep his hand up. Look closely at Mr. Floyd’s mouth; there is a white spot on the left side of his tongue, at 20:29:41-44,” said the filing, referencing the body cam evidence.
“Mr. Floyd rather than comply with Officer Lane’s reasonable instructions, turns his head away at 20:09:45; at 20:09:48, the white spot is gone,” it states.
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