Judge in George Floyd Murder Trial Rejects Evidence of ‘Diversionary’ Behavior in 2019 Drug Arrest

Judge in George Floyd Murder Trial Rejects Evidence of ‘Diversionary’ Behavior in 2019 Drug Arrest

The judge presiding over the trial of four police officers charged in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May has denied a motion to introduce new evidence of a past overdose by Floyd.

Defense attorneys filed a motion earlier this week indicating that they intended to introduce evidence to show that Floyd had been stopped by police in May 2019 under suspicion of selling drugs. The defense suggested that Floyd had “engaged in diversionary behavior such as crying and acted irrationally.” They alleged further that he swallowed the drugs and had to be treated at a local hospital for an accidental drug overdose, and that he admitted abusing drugs regularly.

The defense also wanted to introduce evidence of Floyd’s past arrest for robbery in Harris County, Texas, more than a decade ago.

Haven’t seen this in the news yet but it’s huge for the George Floyd case:

Apparently in May of 2019, Floyd was stopped by police for selling drugs, swallowed the drugs, and then had to be hospitalized for an overdose. pic.twitter.com/h0CmjtskCZ

— Mystery Grove Publishing Co. (@MysteryGrove) September 11, 2020

Judge Peter Cahill denied those motions, according to reporter Callan Gray of KSTP:

Now discussing motion to introduce additional evidence.

Plunkett, representing Kueng, discussing with Judge Cahill two previous incidents involving Floyd. Docs show was one on May 6 at HCMC involving ingesting drugs, the other a robbery in Harris County, TX.

— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) September 11, 2020

Judge also denies May 6, 2019 incident as well but sounds like it could come up again at a later date.

— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) September 11, 2020

Motion sought to use as evidence “The facts and circumstances of Mr. Floyd’s May 6, 2019 medical intervention at HCMC for ‘accidental drug ingestion’… and while under arrest was tearful – because he
was accused of selling drugs by the police and has been abusing opiates..”

— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) September 11, 2020

Separately, the judge granted a defense motion to kick Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and his staff off the case.
The judge said that Freeman and several other attorneys had been “sloppy” when they sent prosecutors to interview the county medical examiner, making them potential witnesses in the case and disqualifying them from prosecuting it.

Local ABC affiliate KSTP reported:

According to the court brief, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and several of the assistant attorneys “are potential witnesses due to their interviews of Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, regarding his autopsy of George Floyd without having a non-attorney witness present.”

As a result, the judge has decided Freeman and those assistant attorneys are off the case, KSTP’s Callan Gray reports. The judge has not disqualified other attorneys or staff members from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office from the case.

Freeman appeared on television frequently in the first days after Floyd died in police custody on Memorial Day.

Friday marked the first time that lead defendant Derek Chauvin has appeared in court. He “faces one count each of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribunenoted.

The court considered several other motions, including arguments for trying the four defendants separately, and moving the trial venue due to passionate local opinions about the case. The court considered the argument that there is virtually nowhere in the U.S. where people do not have passionate opinions about the case.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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