The attorney for one of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd says charges should be dropped against his client because Floyd died from a drug overdose.
Thomas Lane is facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s May 25 arrest that ended in Floyd’s death at a nearby hospital. Earl Gray, Lane’s defense attorney, filed a motion in court on Monday alleging that Floyd contributed to his own death by consuming a lethal amount of fentanyl, according to FOX 9 in Minnesota.
“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. “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.”
Gray says that bodycam footage from Lane, who was the first officer to confront Floyd, shows Floyd with “a white spot on the left side of his tongue” that resembles “2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose.”
“Rather than comply with Officer Lane’s reasonable instructions, [Floyd] turns his head away at 20:09:45; at 20:09:48, the white spot is gone,” Gray says.
The Hennepin County medical examiner said that Floyd tested positive for fentanyl intoxication, as well as recent methamphetamine use. The medical examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide but notes that “manner of death classification is a statutory function of the medical examiner” and “is not a legal determination of culpability or intent, and should not be used to usurp the judicial process.”
The medical examiner found cuts and abrasions over Floyd’s body, but no sign of significant or “life-threatening” injury or trauma, except for a cracked rib due to medical workers attempting to resuscitate Floyd at the hospital.
Lane was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and charged in Floyd’s death along with three other former officers. J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are facing similar charges as Lane, while Derek Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after he pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest.
The officers restrained Floyd on the ground after he pushed himself out of the back of a squad car while complaining about claustrophobia and saying that he could not breathe, bodycam footage that surfaced in early August shows.
As The Daily Wire reports:
Lane goes over to the other side of the car to pull Floyd into it. Floyd begins yelling and repeatedly claiming he “can’t breathe.” After a struggle between Floyd and several officers, Floyd ends up on the ground beside the vehicle as Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, places his knee on his neck. Chauvin would go on to hold his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, as shown in widely-publicized video that led to violent protests nationwide.