The defense will continue to present its case Wednesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis cop charged in George Floyd's death. Tuesday, testimony focused on Floyd's drug use, and a defense use-of-force expert said Chauvin was justified in restraining George Floyd.
After the state rested its case Tuesday morning, defense attorney Eric Nelson called a retired Minneapolis officer who pulled Floyd over in 2019. The retired officer testified Floyd was non-compliant with his commands to show him his hands. Later, a paramedic testified Floyd admitted he had swallowed pills during the arrest, and said his blood pressure was so high she sent him to the hospital.
A friend of Floyd's who was in the car with him before his fatal arrest, testifying he fell asleep suddenly. Later on Tuesday, Nelson called Barry Brodd, a former police trainer, to testify as an expert witness. Brodd said Floyd was actively resisting officers and said Chauvin was justified in using a prone restraint on Floyd.
The defense case centers around how Floyd died, which has been a key point of dispute at trial. A string of medical experts have testified for the prosecution, saying the police restraint restricted oxygen to Floyd's body and caused his heart to stop. But defense attorney Eric Nelson has argued a combination of Floyd's underlying heart disease, adrenaline and the fentanyl and methamphetamine he had ingested prior to the arrest amounted to a fatal combination.
Judge Peter Cahill said testimony is likely to wrap up by the end of the week, possibly with Friday off. He told jurors to expect to be sequestered following closing arguments on April 19. He had earlier denied a defense request for the jury to be further questioned and immediately sequestered in light of the fatal police shooting Sunday of a driver in nearby Brooklyn Center, which led to protests.
Chauvin, who was seen in disturbing videos kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty. The other three officers involved are charged with aiding and abetting, and are expected to be tried jointly in August.