The family of unarmed black man George Floyd is pushing back allegations that he died of a drug overdose.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 while arrested by Minneapolis police on suspicion of using a fake $ 20 bill. Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as he passed out.
Floyd was pronounced dead by medics who responded to the scene, and Chauvin was subsequently charged with second degree murder.
At a preliminary hearing Friday, defense attorneys claimed Floyd took fentanyl prior to his arrest, which likely caused his death.
But in court, Floyd’s family disputed the allegations, saying, “The only overdose that killed George Floyd was an overdose of excessive force and racism by the Minneapolis Police Department. “
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump continued, “America saw what happened. The world saw what happened. So who are you gonna believe, your eyes or those killer cops?
The family of unarmed black man George Floyd is pushing back allegations he died of a drug overdose while in police custody on May 25. Relatives are seen in Minneapolis court on Friday after a preliminary hearing.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 while arrested by Minneapolis police on suspicion of using a fake $ 20 bill. Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as he passed out
Floyd’s death sparked national outrage and led to nationwide protests. Millions of Americans took to the streets to call for police reform and an end to systemic racism
“The world witnessed Floyd’s suffocation on video, and now the defense lawyer is asking us not to believe our own eyes. Several autopsies determined that he died of asphyxiation from the officers kneeling on his back and neck.
Meanwhile, Floyd’s brother Philonese also took the microphone, emotionally telling reporters: “Watching our brother die on video was the most painful experience of our life. But listening to defenders of those officers blaming him for his own death today was like a knife to the heart.
“It shows how hard the justice system is working to protect those in authority at our expense.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Floyd suffered cardiopulmonary arrest while being held by the officer.
Their autopsy revealed that Floyd had “other significant conditions,” including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, as well as “fentanyl poisoning; [and] recent methamphetamine use ”.
However, an independent autopsy conducted by Dr Allecia Wilson and Dr Michael Baden, commissioned by the family, said he died as a direct result of the way he was arrested.
They found that sustained pressure prevented blood flow to the brain, and Chauvin’s weight on Floyd’s back made it difficult for him to breathe.
Floyd’s brother, Philonese, took the microphone, emotionally telling reporters: “Watching our brother die on video was the most painful experience of our life”
“America saw what happened. The world saw what happened. So who are you gonna believe, your eyes or those killer cops? Floyd’s family attorney Ben Crump spoke out in court
The Floyd family were seen arriving for the preliminary hearing on Friday morning
Chauvin was one of four cops at the scene at the time of Floyd’s death.
Officers Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and are being released on bail.
Chauvin appeared in court for the first time on Friday, dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, face mask and handcuffs.
He was taken away by correctional officers after the three-hour court hearing, as protesters near the court shouted insults at him.
Friday’s preliminary hearing was held to discuss various issues in the case, including whether the trial should be moved out of the county, whether the defendants should be tried in a trial or separately, and how jurors will be selected, between other.
Derek Chauvin, who knelt at George Floyd’s neck, was first seen on Friday
Chauvin, 44, had not been seen in public since George Floyd’s murder on May 25
Prosecutors say Floyd’s witnesses and family members would likely be traumatized by multiple trials and that it would be more efficient and in the interests of justice to hold a single proceeding.
But defense lawyers are pushing for separate trials, saying they are likely to offer ‘adversarial’ defenses, and evidence against one officer could negatively impact another’s right to a fair trial .
Attempts to point fingers are already prevalent throughout the court filings in the case.
Lawyers for Lane and Kueng argued that their clients were rookies, following Chauvin’s example.
Thao’s lawyer, Bob Paule, said his client’s role was “absolutely distinct” from the others, as he controlled the crowd and secured the stage – while the other three restrained Floyd.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, also wrote that his client’s case is different.
Nelson said prosecutors had to prove Chauvin intended to assault Floyd, but they also had to show the other agents were aware of Chauvin’s intent before it happened.
As a result, he said, Chauvin will have to defend himself differently.
“The other defendants make it clear that if a crime was committed, they did not know and participate in it,” Nelson wrote. “They blame Chauvin.
Outside the courtroom, protesters lay on the floor for 8 minutes 46 seconds – the moment Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd