Chauvin defense team points to autopsy in opening arguments, lawyers for former officer say Floyd had pre-existing condition and fentanyl in his system
UPDATED 3:00 PM PT – Monday, March 29, 2021
Defense attorneys for Derek Chauvin said George Floyd died of a drug overdose and not due to the former police officer’s actions. During opening arguments Monday, Defense Attorney Eric Nelson outlined Floyd’s autopsy report, which showed he had a pre-existing condition as well as meth and fentanyl in his system at the time of the incident.
Nelson added not only was Floyd already under the influence, but he then swallowed drugs he was carrying as officers approached him, which was an act he had done in previous arrests.
“And you will learn, Derek Chauvin did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19 year career,” Nelson stated. “The use of force is not attractive, but is a necessary component of policing.”
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death in May of 2020. On Monday, witnesses for the prosecution were called to testify in the trial, which is expected to last up to four weeks.