Special Agent James Reyerson testifies at the trial of Derek Chauvin. Photo provided
By Mel Reeves
Watching the trial from within the confines of the courtroom usually adds to the drama, but the proceedings on Wednesday felt scripted and extremely sanitized.
However, the defense for Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, livened things up by putting words in Floyd’s mouth and claiming that Floyd complaining that he couldn’t breathe was an act of resistance. No, I am not making it up. You can’t make that up.
If that wasn’t colorful enough, defense counsel Eric Nelson added a flurry of f-bombs along with the p-word in another attempt to paint bystanders begging Chauvin to stop killing Floyd, as a menacing, threatening mob.
On the other hand, the prosecution appeared to be attempting to preempt the defense’s focus on Floyd’s drug use by confirming that drugs were in the police car and the Mercedes SUV, as they paraded three BCA experts to the stand.
LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger continued his testimony from the Tuesday, testifying in the morning that once Floyd was in the prone position and it became apparent that he was in pain and was clearly in custody, the force should have ceased. “They should have slowed down or stopped their force,” said Stiger.
Stiger testified that in his opinion, “No force should have been used once he was in that position.” He also added that “he was in the prone position. He was handcuffed. He was not attempting to resist. He was not attempting to assault the officers, kick, punch or anything of that nature.”
Yet again, proving that the defense has no line it will not cross, Nelson said to Stiger, “In this particular case, when Mr. Floyd was initially saying that he couldn’t breathe, he was actively resisting arrest initially when he was in the back seat of the vehicle, right?”
Later in his cross-examination of Stiger, Nelson showed body camera footage of Floyd after initially being brought to the ground by the officers. Nelson claimed that Floyd said, “I ate too many drugs.” Nelson asked the L.A. sergeant if that’s what he heard and Stiger disagreed.
But it almost worked on Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) special agent James Reyerson who initially agreed with Nelson. But during re-direct, when the tape was played again by the prosecutor Matthew Frank, he agreed that Floyd actually said, “I ain’t do no drugs.”
Reposted with permission from Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.