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5:40 p.m. Court recesses for the day after testimony from forensic experts
Court recessed for the day at 5 p.m. Wednesday following testimony from forensic scientists with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Pills recovered from the scene of Floyd's arrest, they said, tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl.
Both were found in Floyd's system following his autopsy, and Derek Chauvin's defense team has sought repeatedly to call into question whether drugs were a decisive factor in his death.
Court is slated to resume Thursday morning, April 8 at 9:15 a.m.
2:55 p.m. Special agent offers new conclusion on audio from George Floyd's arrest
Special Agent James Reyerson, upon being played a longer portion of body-worn camera footage documenting George Floyd's arrest, said he believed Floyd was saying "I ain't do no drugs," in a reversal of what he claimed to have heard him say before.
Prosecutors played the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent the clip after a defense attorney for Derek Chauvin showed him a shorter portion of it, which Reyerson earlier said appeared to show Floyd saying "I ate too many drugs."
2:40 p.m. Defense takes aim at role drugs could have played in Floyd's death
A witness with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agreed that George Floyd appeared to say he that "ate too many drugs" in body-worn camera footage documenting his arrest the night of May 25, 2020.
Chauvin's defense attorney previously asserted that Floyd said as much in a snippet of footage that he played in court again Wednesday. Special Agent James Reyerson's seeming conformation of that claim could lend weight to the defense's argument that Floyd's medical conditions and drug use are what contributed to his death.
In his testimony as an outside expert, police Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department earlier Wednesday told the defense that he could not confirm Floyd said that after being shown the same clip.
Reyerson told the court earlier in his testimony that the car Floyd was found in the night of his arrest was searched a second time after it the BCA took possession of it at the request of Chauvin's defense attorneys, who he said identified in it what they thought was a pill.
12:30 p.m.: Special agent called to testify
Special Agent James Reyerson of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, lead investigator in the case against Derek Chauvin, took the witness stand Wednesday afternoon shortly before jurors went on break for the afternoon.
Questions asked of Reyerson by state prosecutors so far have covered the initial steps he took in investigating the case, including the gathering of video and audio documentation of George Floyd's arrest, and how he came to learn details of the incident.
Noon: Defense disputes that Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck
Pointing to portions of footage documenting George Floyd's arrest, Derek Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson again sought to demonstrate Wednesday that the ex-Minneapolis Police Officer was not kneeling on Floyd's neck for the entirety of their encounter the night of May 25, 2020.
Police Sgt. Jody Stiger, who continued to testify as an outside expert in the case against Chauvin on Wednesday, said that Chauvin appeared to be kneeling on Floyd's neck in one image taken from the footage and more in another image.
Stiger then told prosecutors, however, that what is known as "positional asphyxia," a form of suffocation that occurs when one's body position presents them from breathing, can still result from excess body weight being placed on an individual, regardless of whether body weight is being placed on the neck.
11 a.m. Defense hones in on Floyd's behavior earlier in police encounter
Police Sgt. Jody Stiger, whose expert testimony is still ongoing in the case against Derek Chauvin, agreed with the attorney for the defendant's assessment that George Floyd was being uncooperative in the time before Minneapolis Police Department officers pinned him to the ground.
The efforts of officers to force Floyd into the back of a squad car the night of May 25, 2020 and to later place him on the ground in a prone position were thus reasonable, according to Stiger. The Los Angeles Police Department officer said a day earlier that force used to keep Floyd pinned to the ground, however, was "excessive."
Shortly before they took a break for the morning, jurors again heard defense attorney Eric Nelson insinuate that his client's actions the night of Floyd's killing were influenced by the scene of his arrest, during which bystanders recorded on video and shouted objections. Nelson also asked if footage from an arrest could fail to communicate to viewers that a suspect is continuing to struggle or tense their body, which Stiger said he did not necessarily agree with.
"The camera only sees what the camera sees, right?" Nelson asked. "Meaning anything outside of its field of view, is not observable to its camera."
10:20 a.m. Testimony of expert witness continues with cross-examination
Police Sgt. Jody Stiger is currently being cross-examined by a defense attorney for Derek Chauvin.
Earlier Wednesday morning, Stiger, of the Los Angeles Police Department, confirmed to a state prosecutor that Chauvin was kneeling on George Floyd's neck, at times with his full body weight, in several still images taken from footage documenting his arrest the night of May 25, 2020. The move by the prosecution appeared to be a response to the defense claim that Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd's shoulder blade for at least part of their encounter.
In his testimony as an expert witness, Stiger also told the prosecution this morning that Floyd did not appear to be resisting arrest by the time Chauvin and other Minneapolis Police Department officers had pinned him to the ground.
8:15 a.m. Expert witness expected to continue testimony
Police Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles city police force is expected to continue his expert testimony Wednesday, April 7 in the case against Derek Chauvin.
A day earlier, Stiger said it was his opinion that Chauvin used "excessive" force on George Floyd, who's killing the ex-Minneapolis Police Department officer is charged with. Other Minneapolis officers spoke Tuesday, April 6 about what their training involves and how it applied to the handling of Floyd's arrest the night of May 25, 2020.
Court is expected to gavel back into session at 9:15 a.m.
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