A forensic scientist with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified Thursday at the federal trial of three former officers accused of violating George Floyd’s civil rights by placing him in a squad car that officers had attempted to put him in before restraining him on the pavement.
The drugs were discovered in the squad car, according to the testimony of the forensic scientist.
Mitchell Anderson oversaw the processing of a squad car that authorities attempted to put Floyd in outside a convenience shop where Floyd was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
Floyd was charged with passing a counterfeit $20 bill. On cross-examination from defense attorneys, Anderson admitted that tablets and fragments found in the squad car months after the initial search were found to contain methamphetamine and were tested. Floyd’s DNA was also found in a medication that was given to him.
Floyd, 46, was handcuffed and faced down with Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee pressing against his neck when Anderson testified at his trial.
Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are accused of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by failing to provide him with medical assistance while he was handcuffed and facedown with Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed against his neck.
Additionally, Kueng and Thao are being held accountable for failing to interfere in the killing, which prompted worldwide demonstrations and an investigation of racism and policing.
Floyd’s death, according to a toxicologist’s testimony on Wednesday, was not caused by drug usage.
Anderson stated on Thursday that investigators began by searching Floyd’s squad car and the Mercedes SUV that he was driving on May 27, 2020, two days after his death. Floyd was found dead in the Mercedes SUV.
They did not take pills or pill pieces from the Mercedes vehicle and have them tested until December 9, 2020, she claimed, adding that at first, she wasn’t sure if the pills were tablets or shards of pills. They were found to have fentanyl and methamphetamine in their system.
Tou, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng are all former Minneapolis police officers.
On January 27, 2021, the bureau performed a second search of the squad car in question. Anderson informed Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, that just the three most important objects had been examined and tested.
In response to Gray’s question on whether Floyd was “chewing up the tablets or spitting them out,” Anderson replied, “I can’t say how it got there.”
Dr. Vik Bebarta, an emergency physician and toxicologist who is also a professor at the University of Colorado in suburban Denver, testified Wednesday that Floyd did not die as a result of the low quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine found in his system at the time of the shooting.
Floyd did not appear to be extremely intoxicated or having an overdose, according to the witness, who obtained video footage from inside a convenience store before his tragic interaction with authorities. However, he did not contradict a store clerk’s earlier testimony that Floyd appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
“He was awake, walking, conversing, and walking swiftly at times,” Bebarta described the condition of the man.
Floyd “died from a lack of oxygen to his brain,” according to Bebarta, who also believes that he suffocated as a result of his airway being blocked. The evidence of a lung specialist on Monday, who stated that Floyd could have been rescued if officers had shifted him into a position where he could breathe more easily, was consistent with this.
Previous testimony also indicated that Chauvin — the most senior cop on the scene — instructed his colleagues to wait for an ambulance that was on its way after Floyd became unresponsive and they couldn’t find a pulse on him.
According to testimony and camera footage, officers continued to restrain Floyd until an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
Minneapolis Police Inspector Katie Blackwell testifies during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on April 5, 2021, in this still image from a video. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kueng, a Black man, Lane, a white man, and Thao, a Hmong American, are accused of knowingly depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights while acting in the course of their official duties.
Kueng, Lane, and Thao all face charges of wilful deprivation of Floyd’s constitutional rights. Floyd was allegedly killed as a result of the cops’ actions, according to the accusations.
Chauvin, a white male, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in a state court last year and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison after being found guilty. In December, he entered a guilty plea for a federal civil rights violation.
Lane, Kueng, and Thao will also stand trial in a different state court in June on charges that they aided and abetted the murder and manslaughter of two people.