In his opening statement, Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney revealed that George Floyd concealed pills containing meth and fentanyl from officers in his mouth.
Eric Nelson, the lead defense attorney for Officer Derek Chauvin, who stand accused of murder after George Floyd died during his custody at the end of May last year, made his opening statements in Chauvin’s trial on Monday morning.
Floyd, who was 47 when he died, purchased cigarettes at a local corner shop with a counterfeit $20 bill, with the police called on him as a result. The manager of the store allegedly asked him to either exchange the fake bill for a real one or return the cigarettes, but Floyd refused, according to Nelson’s statement.
Before the police arrived, Floyd spent between 20 and 30 minutes in a Mercedes Benz car with his friends. “While they were in the car, Mr Floyd consumed what were thought to be two percocet pills,” Nelson said in his statement, revealing that his friends will later testify that “Mr Floyd fell asleep in the car, and that they couldn’t wake him up.”
When confronted by police, “Mr Floyd put drugs in his mouth in an effort to conceal them,” Nelson said, adding that later surveillance videos from across the street show that there is evidence of “further concealment of controlled substances.”
However, while Floyd’s friends believed the pills to be percocet, after search warrants were executed on the Mercedes Benz on May 27th and December 9th last year, “BCA agents located various pieces of evidence during this search, including two pills… that were revealed to be a mixture of methamphetamine and fentanyl,” Nelson noted. The pills with this concoction of meth and fentanyl that Floyd likely consumed is known as a “speed-ball” – a mixture of an opiate and a stimulant.
Partially dissolved pills found in the search of police squad car 320 where Floyd was held were also found to be consistent with the pills found in the Mercedes Benz, according to Nelson, containing both meth and fentanyl. Analysyts further discovered that DNA and saliva matching with Floyd’s were found in the pills.
Nelson further noted that despite Floyd being seen to have consumed these pills by his friends, and that a later autopsy report showed both meth and fentanyl in his system, Floyd told both Officer King and Officer Lane that he was “on nothing” when confronted about his current state of intoxication.
National File will continue to follow the case.