DEREK Chauvin’s defense team blamed the “angry” crowd who gathered to watch George Floyd’s arrest for officers’ failure to give the father-of-one medical attention before his death.

The defense also claimed the 46-year-old died from a heart disease and an overdose of meth and fentanyl, rather any force used by ex-cop Chauvin, 45, during his arrest.

You can read a live blog of the trial here.



Attorney Eric Nelson gave the opening statement for the defense on the first day of the trial on Monday morning, telling the jury that "reason and common sense” was needed in looking at the evidence.  

Nelson noted that the incident took place in a “high-crime area” and that officers were faced with "a threat that was growing in front of them” from bystanders. 

He also claimed that there were no signs that Floyd was asphyxiated or that his airflow was restricted in any way, despite the findings of the medical examiner. 

Instead he claimed that the fentanyl and methamphetamine found in Floyd’s body contributed to his death, as well as heart disease. 

He noted that Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker revealed "many other issues" in the report, including coronary disease, an enlarged heart and swelling of the lungs.

"The state was not satisfied with Dr. Baker's work, and so they have contracted with numerous physicians to contradict Dr. Baker's findings," Nelson said.



"This will ultimately be another significant battle in this trial: What was Mr. Floyd's actual cause of death?" he continued.

"The evidence will show that Mr. Floyd died of cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body, all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart."

The attorney blasted the prosecution’s opening statement which showed a nine-minute video of Floyd’s death while bystanders yelled at Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, to take his knee of the black man’s death. 

Nelson argued that the “evidence is far greater than 9 minutes and 29 seconds” as he slammed the prosecution for attempts to add a “political and social cause” to the case. 

 “You will learn in this courtroom that evidence has been gathered clearly and extensively,” he added. 

The defense attorney also claimed that Chauvin, 45, “did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19-year career” as he was arresting Floyd on May 25. 

“The use of force is not attractive but is necessary,” Nelson said.



The prosecution had argued in their opening statement against any claims that Floyd's death was tied to an opioid addiction, despite his previous battle with drugs.

"He did not died form a drug overdose, he did not die of an opioid overdose," the prosecution said.

Attorney Jerry Blackwell focused heavily on footage from bystanders in his opening statement as he told the jury that Chauvin had used unneccessary force in Floyd's arrest.

Blackwell contested in his opening statement that Chauvin stayed on Floyd's back until he was "unconscious, breathless and pulseless."

He accused Chauvin of "grinding and crushing" Floyd until "the life was squeezed out of him."

The prosecution called the first witness on Monday, City of Minneapolis 911 dispatcher, Jena Scurry.

She spoke about her work as a dispatcher and her knowledge of the city’s 911 system. 

Scurry also detailed how she had called the sergeant over the officers while viewing live footage of the arrest as she grew concerned that the ambulance had arrived but no help was yet being given.

The high-profile trial began on Monday after Floyd's family knelt outside of the courthouse for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the 46-year-old's neck before he died.

The trial is expected to be carried out over four weeks with the city of Minneapolis installing protections around the courthouse to discourage any violent protests.

Chauvin faces charges of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

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