Update: Prosecutors later showed a longer version of the clip to Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension senior special agent James Reyerson. Reyerson had earlier agreed with Nelson that Floyd seemed to complain of eating “too many drugs.” After hearing the longer clip from the prosecution, Reyerson reversed himself.
“I believe Mr. Floyd was saying ‘I ain’t do no drugs,’” Reyerson said, according to The Hill.
Original story: George Floyd appeared to complain of eating “too many drugs” or “too many pills” while being arrested on May 25 of last year, a defense attorney for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin alleged on Wednesday.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked Los Angeles Police Sgt. Jody Stiger, a paid witness of the state in Chauvin’s trial over Floyd’s death, if Floyd complained to arresting officers the he “ate too many drugs.” Nelson played a clip of Floyd’s arrest from an officer’s body camera showing Floyd laying on the ground and speaking to officers. Floyd appears to say, “I ate too many …,” then crosstalk drowns out Floyd’s comments.
Nelson questioned Stiger about the clip, and Stiger said he could not make out Floyd’s comments.
Nelson: “Did you hear what he said?”
Stiger: “No, I couldn’t make it out.”
Nelson: “Does it sound like he says, ‘I ate too many drugs?’ Listen again.
[Floyd clip plays]
Stiger: “I can’t make that out, no.
Nelson just played a portion of the body camera video and asked "does it sound like he said 'I ate too many drugs?'"
Stiger said he couldn't make it out. Here I clipped that part of the video. pic.twitter.com/luMybVw50l
— Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse) April 7, 2021
The police transcript corresponding to the video does not include Floyd’s comments featured in the clip.
Chauvin’s defense team is arguing that drugs and an existing heart problem played crucial roles in Floyd’s death. The defense is attempting to establish that Chauvin’s actions, restraining Floyd with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, would not have resulted in Floyd’s death without complications from those existing drug and heart problems.
Prosecutors on the case have admitted that Floyd had a history of substance abuse and are arguing that Floyd’s past use of drugs built up his immunity to them enough where the amount he ingested before his arrest would not have significantly affected him.
Floyd had a history of drug abuse and addiction and was traveling with a man he had previously purchased drugs from at the time of his arrest, according to earlier testimony, under oath, from Floyd’s girlfriend. As The Daily Wire reported:
Later in the trial, Ross confirmed that Floyd was with Morries Hall, who had sold both her and Floyd drugs, at the time of Floyd’s arrest in May. She said that the pills she and Floyd got in May reminded her of some she took in March that kept her up all night and left her feeling jittery, and that she believed they came from Hall, but was she was not sure, according to the Star-Tribune.
Earlier, while talking to the FBI, Ross had said that those pills she and Floyd got had left her feeling like she was going to die.
Floyd’s alleged drug dealer, Morries Hall, has declined to testify as part of Chauvin’s trial, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.
The Hennepin County medical examiner reported after performing Floyd’s autopsy that he had ingested potentially lethal amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamines before his death. The medical examiner concluded, however, that Floyd’s death was a homicide and the result of asphyxiation from Chauvin’s restraint. As The Daily Wire reported:
New court documents have uncovered two memorandums, dated May 26 and June 1, that suggest Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker concluded George Floyd likely died from a fentanyl overdose and found “no physical evidence suggesting” that he died of asphyxiation.
“AB (Andrew Baker) said that if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he would conclude that it was an overdose death,” says a memo dated June 1, outlining a May 31 virtual with Dr. Baker.
The memos seemingly run contrary to the Armed Forces medical examiner and Hennepin County medical examiner’s final conclusion that Floyd’s death was a homicide.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension senior special agent James Reyerson’s claim that Floyd seemed to say “I ain’t do no drugs” during his arrest before his death last year.
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