The murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began on Monday, with his defense opening up by stating that it was their belief that the man Chauvin is accused of killing died from a drug overdose, according to TMZ.
Chauvin is accused in the death of George Floyd, whose death in police custody on May 25, 2020 sparked months of protests, riots, and outrage. An 8-minute video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck went viral, and the world came to the conclusion that Chauvin had killed him.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson countered this pervasive narrative, saying that witnesses had stated that Floyd was believed to be intoxicated prior to his encounter with Chauvin. When officers were called to the scene, under the allegation that Floyd had tried to pass a counterfeit bill, the person who made the call said that Floyd appeared "drunk."
Nelson further said that Floyd has fallen asleep in his car, and that when he was approached by officers, he had "put drugs in his mouth" to prevent officers from finding them. An autopsy showed that Floyd had what's known as a "speedball" in his system, which can be a deadly amount of stimulants mixed with depressants, in this case fentanyl.
Nelson stated that Floyd resisted three officers, and that he had a heart condition that was made worse by the drugs in his system at the time of his death.
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