It’s almost been a full year since George Floyd was tragically murdered by Derek Chauvin in front of a crowd in Minneapolis—and now, Chauvin’s murder trial is officially underway.
During the opening statements, Derek Chauvin’s attorney made the bold claim that George Floyd didn’t die from having Chauvin’s knee on his neck for over eight minutes, but instead passed away due to drugs and persisting health conditions.
Eric Nelson, the attorney representing Derek Chauvin in his murder trial for the death of George Floyd, used a significant portion of his opening statements to detail what he believes led to the death of Floyd last May. “The evidence will show that Floyd died of cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension and coronary disease, and that the ingestion drugs and the adrenaline in his body all acted to further compromise an already compromised heart,” Nelson said.
Nelson continued, adding that based on the findings from the medical examiner, there were no signs of asphyxiation, and no evidence Floyd’s airflow was restricted. Nelson further elaborated on Floyd’s drug use, stating that evidence in the case shows that he took drugs just before his encounter with the Minneapolis police and put additional drugs in his mouth when approached by officers.
He later said that upon inspecting the crime scene, two partially dissolved pills were found in the squad car that were determined to be fentanyl and methamphetamine—which had Floyd’s DNA on them.
Just before the trial officially started, George Floyd’s family, along with attorney Benjamin Crump and Al Sharpton, were outside the courthouse for a press conference where Sharpton stated that “the world was watching,” as the highly-anticipated trial finally commenced.