Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing George Floyd, has asked a judge to dismiss the murder charges.
A lawyer for the former police officer filed a motion in court arguing that there was no probable cause to support the murder and manslaughter charges pinned to Chauvin, noting that Floyd’s death was caused by drugs and not the officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
The filing said: “Put simply, Mr. Floyd could not breathe because he had ingested a lethal dose of fentanyl.” It also argued that pre-existing conditions like heart disease, sickle cell trait, and coronavirus could’ve exacerbated the drugs.
44-year-old Chauvin was charged in June after 46-year-old Floyd passed away while in police custody. Videos taken by witnesses show the former police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes as he pleaded ‘I can’t breathe!’
Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Kiernan, and J. Alexander Kueng were also at the scene.
All four cops were fired from their positions at the Minneapolis Police Department.
Chauvin faced murder charges while the three other cops were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
The first toxicology report by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Floyd had 11 nanograms of fentanyl in his blood and may have contributed to his demise.
However, another autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family said that he died from mechanical asphyxiation because Chauvin knelt on his airway.
Dr. Andrew Baker told prosecutors that the level of fentanyl in Floyd’s blood would have been acceptable to label his death as an overdose.
The motion said, according to WSJ: “If [Mr. Floyd] were found dead at home alone and no other apparent causes, it would have been acceptable to label his death an overdose.”
“What Mr. Chauvin saw was a strong man struggling mightily with police officers, which seemed contradictory to Mr. Floyd’s claims about not being able to breathe,” the motion said.
“Mr. Chauvin could not have known about Mr. Floyd’s underlying issues when he arrived on the scene.”
The lawyer for Chauvin also cited Dr. Baker’s words that he had not found physical evidence of asphyxiation with Floyd, adding the medical examiner found no bruising on Floyd’s neck or back.
The three other cops previously filed motions to dismiss their charges.
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