Defense lawyers for Derek Chauvin argued that drug use and other health conditions caused George Floyd’s death
Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant testifies Wednesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
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The lawyer for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and prosecutors disagreed Wednesday on whether George Floyd said “I ate too many drugs” on video footage of the deadly arrest played in court.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson played a video clip of Floyd saying something as officers pinned him on the ground on May 25, 2020 during his cross-examination of Los Angeles police Sgt. Jody Stiger, a use of force expert.
In the footage, Floyd yells in distress while handcuffed.
“Does it sound like he says, ‘I ate too many drugs?'” he asked Stiger.
“I can’t make that out,” Stiger replied.
Defense lawyers have argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s use of drugs and other health conditions caused his death.
Prosecutors let the question slide but Nelson posed it again when questioning James Reyerson, a senior special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Reyerson agreed that Floyd appeared to mutter the phrase.
“Yes it did,” he said.
Upon further questioning, prosecutor Matthew Frank got Reyerson to admit he had not listened to the recording closely prior to taking the stand. After a short break, Frank played a longer video clip of the same footage.
“Having heard it in context, you’re able to tell what Mr. Floyd is saying there?” Frank asked.
“I believe Mr. Floyd was saying, ‘I ain’t do no drugs,’” Reyerson replied.
“So it’s all different than what you were asked about when you only saw a portion of the video, correct?’ Frank asked
“Yes, sir,” the agent said.
Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges in connection to Floyd’s death.