Defense lawyers at the murder trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin launched their case Tuesday by focusing on George Floyd’s
Defense lawyers at the murder trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin launched their case Tuesday by focusing on George Floyd’s arrest one year before his death.
Police body camera footage played for jurors showed cops approaching Floyd during a traffic stop on May 6, 2019 — after which he allegedly told paramedics he had taken “multiple” drugs.
The video shows then-cop Scott Creighton approaching the passenger’s side and repeatedly ordering Floyd to step out.
“Don’t shoot me, man,” Floyd is heard saying. “I don’t want to get shot.”
“Keep your hands where I can f—–g see them,” Creighton yells. “OK? Put them on the dash.”
“I’m not going to shoot you,” said Creighton, who has since retired from the force. “Put your hands on the dash. It’s the last time I’m going to tell you. It’s simple.”
At another point, Creighton is heard yelling, “Open your mouth! Spit out what’s in your mouth.”
On the stand Tuesday, Creighton said Floyd “was incoherent in my mind.”
The controversial footage was introduced to show jurors how Floyd reacted after ingesting opioids during the earlier arrest — in line with the defense’s assertion that Floyd died as a result of poor health and drug abuse.
Defense lawyers had argued in pre-trial hearings that Floyd’s conduct during the 2019 arrest was similar to his behavior during his fatal encounter with police on May 25, 2020.
Michelle Moseng, a Hennepin County paramedic, also took the stand for the defense, and said Floyd admitted to taking drugs and “was upset and confused.”
Chauvin, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death at a Minneapolis intersection.
Viral video of the incident shows Chauvin pressing his knee on a handcuffed Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Prosecutors repeatedly played footage of the fatal encounter through 11 days of testimony and presented both medical and use-of-force experts who said Floyd died as a result of the police restraint on his neck.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lawyer, has based his case on three points — that Floyd died as a result of drug use and a heart condition, that the ex-cop’s use of force was appropriate and that a crowd of angry bystanders at the time of Floyd’s death posed a threat and distracted Chauvin from aiding his prisoner.
The defense launched its case Tuesday amid new turmoil in the Minneapolis area.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets for two consecutive nights in the wake of Sunday’s shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by police in the nearby suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Police said dozens were arrested late Monday into Tuesday morning, with rioting, looting, and violent clashes with police and National Guard troops.
Wright was shot and killed by Kimberly Potter, 48, a veteran Brooklyn Center cop who authorities said meant to reach for her Taser and instead grabbed her service weapon during a traffic stop around 2 p.m. Sunday.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over Chauvin’s trial, said he expects both sides to give their closing arguments on Monday before the case is turned over to the jury for deliberation.