The lawyers of former policeman Derek Chauvin, who is on trial for the death of George Floyd, have begun to defend their client. They spoke to support their theory that Floyd died from drug use and existing health problems, not because Chauvin‘s knee pressed his neck for nearly 10 minutes. They also brought an expert to the courtroom who stated that Chauvin was fully deservedly kneeling on Floyd.
Senior police officers of Minneapolis, including the police commissioner, stated earlier in the trial that Chauvin did use excessive force and was therefore out of control. Doctors summoned by the prosecution claimed that Floyd died of oxygen starvation, as a result of the way he was held to the ground.
The first witness to call the defense was a cop Floyd arrested in 2019. He said he should have used his gun and pulled him out of the car he was in. Floyd wouldn’t have listened to the officer‘s instructions to show his hands.
To a nurse, who checked Floyd at the time of his arrest and said about it in court, Floyd would have confessed that he was addicted to painkillers and that he was heavily intoxicated at that time. Traces of narcotics were found in Floyd’s blood after his death.
Violent expert found kneeling deservedly
A third witness was a former California policeman who specializes in the use of force. He said that Chauvin, in his dealings with Floyd, followed his work instructions entirely and found his actions to be fair.
He made a comparison to a situation where a cop uses a power surge weapon in battle with a suspect. Suspect falls, knocks his head and dies. “That is not a case of lethal violence. That is a case of a fatal accident.”
It is not yet clear whether Chauvin will explain himself.