On Tuesday in the trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd, more expert witnesses were called to shed light on the different training skills that Minneapolis police are taught, and whether or not Chauvin’s usage of them was appropriate.
However we also learned one prominent witness is taking the fifth instead of taking the witness stand.
The situation is highlighted at length by Daily Mail. Morries Lester Hall considered George Floyd his “confidante and mentor,” and knew him for years. On the day of Floyd’s death last year he was a key witness at the scene. Even trying to get the same convenience store to accept a fake $20 bill earlier on in the day.
When speaking with The New York Times last year, Morries Hall said George Floyd didn’t resist arrest. He’d know since he was there in the same car as him. A key witness. We previously learned from Floyd's girlfriend Courtney Ross that Morries Hall was the couple's drug dealer.
Yet Hall now will plead the fifth if either party in the Derek Chauvin trial calls on him to testify.
The document was filed to the Hennepin County Public Defender's office last week. It says "Mr. Morries Lester Hall […] hereby provides notice to all parties in this matter that if called to testify he will invoke his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination."
(All this and more is available on the county website, under 27-CR-20-12646: State vs. Derek Chauvin.)
What's new is that first thing this morning Hall's attorney Adrienne Cousins told the court that Mr. Hall right now has “no immunity, no protection for his testimony whatsoever.” So he’s invoking his fifth amendment right in order to avoid “self-incrimination in several key areas of questioning that” Hall’s attorney believed he’d face.
Since the defense council brought Hall up in their opening statements last week, Cousins felt obligated to set in motion this legal action for her client now. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill asked if Hall could give testimony at least in part.
“I can not envision any topics that Mr. Hall would be called to testify on, that would be both relevant to the case, that would not incriminate him.”