George Floyd wasn’t murdered or brutalized by the police

Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
By Hans Sherrer
George Floyd was not murdered or brutalized by the police on May 25, 2020. Floyd was a dead man walking when the police responded to a 911 call he had committed felony crimes at a Minneapolis store. Evidence Floyd’s death was imminent when the police arrived is in his autopsy report, toxicology results, findings by the medical examiner, and police body cam video that are all now publicly available.
Rioting, looting, deaths, untold injuries, over a billion dollars in damage, and months of chaos in cities across the country have been fueled by the fabricated narrative the police killed Floyd.
Disregard for the facts of Floyd’s death by the mainstream media, egging on by social media, and endless pandering by politicians, has helped empower lawless mobs to run wild in American cities with virtually no restraint.
Floyd Questioned About Using Counterfeit Money
On the evening of May 25 a man tendered a $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a Cup Foods store in Minneapolis. After handing the man $10 change the store manager identified the $20 was a fake bill. The man refused to return the $10 and the cigarettes.
911 was called and officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng responded. When they arrived at 8:08 p.m. the manager told them the man was inside a car parked around the corner, and that he was “awfully drunk” and “not in control of himself.”
Lane and Kueng went to the car — a Mercedes — and Floyd was in the driver’s seat. When the officer’s first approached the car Lane’s body cam recorded a hite pill on Floyd’s tongue that matches the appearance of a 2 milligram Fentanyl pill, which is a lethal dose. Floyd turned his head away and when he turned it back the pill was no longer visible.
Floyd was moving his body and arms around inside the car while the officers were talking to him, and he refused their order to keep his hands on the steering wheel. Floyd then disregard the officer’s order to get out of the vehicle.
The two people in the vehicle with Floyd encouraged him to stop resisting the police. They told the officers they believed Floyd was under the influence of narcotics. Floyd physically resisted being removed until after he was handcuffed.
After he was out of the vehicle Kueng tried to get Floyd out of the street, telling him he didn’t want him to get hit by a passing car.
Floyd repeatedly said “I don’t want to go back” (later understood to mean prison). He also told Kueng “I just want to stop getting arrested,” and “I didn’t do nothing wrong.”
Floyd was taken to the side of the building and told to sit down. Floyd said he had no ID on him (so he was driving without a license), but identified himself as George Perry Floyd and gave his birth date.
Kueng asked Lane to run a background check on Floyd. The following exchange then took place: Kueng: “We’re here because it sounds like you gave a fake bill to the individuals in there.”
Floyd: “Yeah.”
Kueng: “Do you understand that?”
Floyd: “Yes.”
In addition to the fake $20 bill Floyd gave to the store manager, there were more $20 bills visibly stuffed between the driver’s seat in the vehicle.
Passing counterfeit money is a serious felony in Minnesota with a 20-year maximum sentence, and it is also a federal
felony crime with an additional maximum 20-year sentence.
The officers were obligated to arrest Floyd based on the evidence he had committed state and federal felony crimes. (He was also facing possible state and federal conspiracy charges because he was evidently involved with a counterfeiting operation.)
Floyd questioning the officers about “What he had done wrong” was disingenuous since he had admitted passing a fake $20.
Because the officer’s were occupied with Floyd, the man and woman in the vehicle with him were allowed to leave after providing the officers with their identification.
Floyd’s Arrest
Kueng told Floyd he was going to be arrested. They walked across the street to the squad car. When they got to the car Floyd became fidgety and started telling the officers “I can’t breath” at the same time he jabbered about being “claustrophobic” and “I’m not a bad guy.”
Kueng told Floyd “You’re making me nervous. … you’re acting real erratic.” Floyd refused to get into the police car’s back seat. Floyd was a large man: 6 feet 4 inches tall, and 223 pounds.
The officers struggled with Floyd trying to get him into the back of the car. He resisted passively by sitting on the ground, and actively by stiffening up and refusing to enter the squad car.
A civilian on the sidewalk watching Floyd struggle against the officers told him: “Man, you going to die of a heart attack, just get in the car.”
At one point Lane tried to reason with Floyd to get him into the car, telling him: “I’ll stay with you. I’ll put the windows down. I’ll put the air on.” It didn’t work.
Two other officers arrived at the scene as backup: Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao. Chauvin asked Kueng: “Is he going to jail?” Kueng responded: “He’s under arrest.”
Floyd continued resisting, but with the additional help of Chauvin and Thao he was put inside. He struggled inside and used his legs to force his way out of the car through the opposite side door. He landed on the ground.
With Floyd on the ground he was stopped from continuing to struggle by Lane restraining his legs with his hands and knees, Kueng kneeled on his back and held his handcuffed arms in place, and Chauvin had him in a neck restraint.
Chauvin asked Kueng if he had a restraint (hobble), and Thao began
looking for one in the police car’s storage area.
At about 8:20 p.m. Kueng called a Code 2 for Emergency Medical Services because Floyd was bleeding from his mouth (Apparently hitting it on the ground when he dove out of the police car’s back seat.)
Chauvin told him: “You’re under arrest guy.” Floyd responded: “Alright. Alright. oh my, God. I can’t believe this.”
Floyd continued jabbering and intermittently said “I can’t breathe.”
Chauvin told Floyd, “you’re doing a lot of talking” and “you’re doing a lot of talking, a lot of yelling” in response to Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”
Thao asked Kueng “Are we calling for EMS?” Kueng told him: “Yeah, EMS is on their way.”
Thao asked Chauvin if he still wanted the hobble, and Chauvin told him “We’ll hold him until EMS shows up.”
The following exchange then took place between the officers:
Chauvin: “Is he high on something?”
Lane: “I’m assuming so.”
Kueng: “I believe so, we found a pipe on him.”
Lane: “He wouldn’t get out of the car. He wasn’t following instructions.”
As Floyd continued jabbering he periodically said “I can’t breathe.”
Kueng told him “You’re doing fine. You’re talking fine.”
Lane’s body cam shows that over a period of many minutes Floyd claimed at least 40 times “I can’t breath” as he was talking about different things.
A recently arrived civilian bystander told Thao: “You can put him in the car.” Thao responded: “We tried that for 10 minutes.” Chauvin told bystanders “we got the ambulance coming.”
A crowd of bystanders had assembled and were heckling the officers. Calling them bums, bitches, etc. The bystanders didn’t know what was happening — but they fed on each others negativity about what they thought was happening.
After Floyd was taken to the hospital
At 8:27 p.m. EMS personnel arrived. Floyd was put in the ambulance, accompanied by Lane because he was under arrest, and taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center.
When Kueng and Chauvin returned to the Mercedes, Floyd’s phone was found inside. Kueng said: “Yeah, put his phone back. if he’s guna come back and get his stuff, we got to be able to tell him where it is.”
Kueng and Chauvin had every expectation Floyd would return to get the car after he was released from the hospital and bailed out of jail.
Kueng went back into the store and the manager told him that while Floyd gave him one fake $20 “he had a lot more with him.” The manager said he would provide the surveillance video to the police.
Kueng filled Chauvin in on what happened before he arrived, and said of Floyd: “He was fighting us the whole time.”
Floyd died at the Hennepin County Medical Center at 9:25 p.m. — a
little less than an hour after arriving. Floyd’s criminal history
Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis a year earlier — in May 2019 — during a drug investigation. Floyd was in a vehicle and refused to get out or show his hands to officers. The officers had to physically remove him from the car. Oxycodone pills fell out of Floyd’s pant leg as he was being arrested, and the officer said he “appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.” 274 pills were found inside the car, along with 17.95 grams of cocaine, and 3.1 grams of rock cocaine.
Floyd was taken to the hospital, and admitted to the staff he snorted “Oxycodone daily.” Floyd had to be restrained in the hospital for being “physically threatening, and showing the “risk of harming another.” After Floyd calmed down he “admitted to injecting 7-8 Oxycodone shortly before his arrest.” He also said “he’s been addicted to opiates for approx. 1.5 years…”
Floyd had a long criminal history in Texas before moving to Minnesota. He was imprisoned or jailed at least nine times. He had four separate felony drug convictions; two theft convictions; one criminal trespass conviction; one conviction of while a fugitive he failed to provide his identity to a police officer; and a 2009 conviction for aggravated
robbery with a deadly weapon for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. The aggravated robbery was the most serious: Six black males stormed into a black woman’s home, and Floyd pulled a pistol and pressed it against her abdomen and threatened to kill her while demanding money and drugs.
Floyd’s autopsy
Floyd’s autopsy was conducted on May 26 by Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker. Baker has served as president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and is one of the country’s leading forensic pathologists.
After Baker completed the autopsy, on May 26 he met with two Hennepin County prosecutors, four FBI agents, and two Minnesota Public Safety special agents. One prosecutor’s meeting notes state: “The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation. Mr. Floyd did not exhibit signs of petechiae, damage to his airways or thyroid, brain bleeding, bone injuries, or internal bruising.”
Mr. Floyd had preexisting health conditions including a heavy heart and some coronary artery disease, including at least one artery that was approximately 75 percent blocked.
AB sent Mr. Floyd’s blood samples to NMS Labs, who will provide a full toxicology report.
He [Baker] specifically avoided watching any videos associated with the case to avoid a bias during the autopsy.”
Thus the day after Floyd’s death the prosecutors knew he did not die of asphyxiation, he had very severe heart disease, and there was no medical evidence the four officers did anything to cause his death.
No official or politician provided that important information to the news media so it could be reported to the public.
Consequently, rioting and looting raged in Minneapolis based on the false assumption Floyd had been murdered by the police.
Three days later, on May 29, prosecutors charged Chauvin with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter — even though they knew Floyd had not been asphyxiated or suffered any injury due to being in a neck restraint.
Five days later, on May 31, Baker reported the lab tests of Floyd’s blood to prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Multiple drugs were detected in his system, most importantly, a very high level of Fentanyl: Regarding the Fentanyl level of 11 ng/mL Baker commented: “That’s pretty high.” “That is a fatal level of Fentanyl under normal circumstances.” Baker also commented “This level of fentanyl can cause pulmonary edema.” “Mr. Floyd’s lungs were 2-3x their normal weight at autopsy.” (The AAMC reports a Fentanyl overdose can cause pulmonary edema — excess fluid in the lungs — that severely restricts breathing and can cause death.)
The other drugs in Floyd’s system were:
—Several other Fentanyl related drugs (Norfentanyl and 4-ANPP) (6.25 ng/ML)
—Methamphetamine (19 ng/ML) Baker commented meth is “a stimulant hard
on the heart.”
—Cannabinoids (Marijuana)
—Morphine (free) (Common result of heroin use) (86 ng/ML) Prosecutor Amy Sweasy reported in her typed notes of the meeting: “AB said that if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he would conclude that it was an overdose death.”
Finally on June 1 the Medical Examiner’s office issued a one-page Press Release Report that stated Floyd’s “Cause of death: “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
restraint, and neck compression. Manner of death: Homicide. How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s). Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
Then on June 4, after much of Minneapolis had been destroyed by rioting, the ME’s office released Floyd’s full Autopsy Report. Key points of the Autopsy Report are:
1. Floyd’s cause of death was “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
2. Floyd had severe arteriosclerotic heart disease; an enlarged heart; history of hypertension; and a left pelvic tumor.
3. Floyd had “No life-threatening injuries.” He had no facial, throat, eye, neck, larynx, scalp, skull, brain, or chest injuries.
4. Floyd’s Toxicology Report found in his system: Fentanyl (11 ng/mL); Several other Fentanyl related drugs (Norfentanyl and 4-ANPP) (6.25 ng/ML); Methamphetamine (19 ng/ML); Cannabinoids (Marijuana); and, Morphine (free) (Common result of heroin use) (86 ng/ML).
5. Floyd tested positive for COVID-19. Baker’s autopsy “Reference Comments” included:
—Fentanyl: “It is reported to be 80 to 200 times as potent as morphine and has a rapid onset of action.” “Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and death. In fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/mL.”
—Methamphetamine: “methamphetamine can also elicit restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, circulatory collapse and convulsions.”
—Morphine (free): “Morphine has diverse effects that may include analgesia, drowsiness, nausea and respiratory depression. It is commonly found as the result of heroin use.”
—THC (Active Ingredient of Marijuana) “Pharmacologically, it has depressant and reality distorting effects.”
Notable observations about Floyd’s autopsy are:
1. Floyd died from cardiac arrest — which kills more than 325,000 people yearly in the U.S.
2. Floyd had no external or internal injuries that contributed to his death.
3. Prior to his encounter with the police Floyd had been using Fentanyl, Meth, Marijuana, and likely Heroin.
4. Floyd’s system had more than five times the quantity of Fentanyl and Fentanyl related drugs that can cause death from “respiratory depression,” that is, the inability to breath.
5. Floyd’s level of Morphine (free) exceed that which can be lethal, and which causes “respiratory depression.”
6. Floyd had the active ingredient of Marijuana in his system, which has “depressant and reality distorting effects.”
Floyd’s bleeding from his mouth was apparently caused by a “red abrasion, just inferior to left corner of mouth.”
U.S. Defense Health Agency concurs Floyd died from “cardiopulmonary arrest” The U.S. Justice Department requested an independent autopsy review that was conducted by the Defense Health Agency. On June 10th it released its Consult Report that concluded: “CAUSE OF DEATH: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression. Manner of Death: Homicide.”
The Report concurred with Baker’s autopsy report by stating the opinion causes of Floyd’s death were: “… severe hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and methamphetamine and fentanyl intoxication.”
The Report also noted Floyd recently tested positive for COVID-19, which affects a person’s respiratory system. Floyd told the police: “just had COVID, man. I don’t want to go back to that,” suggesting he had a serious infection.
Importantly, the Report stated: “Of note, no petechial hemorrhages were identified in the conjunctiva and oral mucosa, the layered neck.”
That confirmed Floyd did not die from asphyxiation from any external obstruction of his airways. Neck restraint is normal and used by police worldwide The neck restraint Chauvin used on Floyd was trained to not only Minneapolis police officers, but police throughout the U.S., and
different countries around the world. The neck restraint is widely used because it is a humane way to control an unruly person without physically harming them or obstructing their breathing.
The 2019 Minneapolis PD Policy guide specifically authorized the “Use of Neck Restraints (5-311). The MPD “Response Training Guide” listed use of the “Unconscious Neck Restraint” on a resisting or aggressive person.
Chauvin was a 19-year police veteran following MPD regulations when he used a neck restraint on Floyd.
In response to the rioting and looting in Minneapolis, the MPD changed its policy and disallowed the use of neck restraints.
Due to the unrest in Minneapolis, France announced its police would be barred from using neck restraints. Police in France united to protest the ban, and on June 16 the authorities rescinded the ban. Israeli defense forces have used the neck restraint since at least 2006.
Evidence is Floyd died from natural causes Floyd died from cardiac arrest. He had very severe heart disease and his blood flow was severely restricted. He had more than three times the lethal dose of Fentanyl in his system, and his breathing could additionally be impaired by the meth, marijuana, and Morphine (free) in his system, as well as his recent bout with COVID-19.
That is why Baker made the observation that if Floyd had been found alone “he would conclude that it was an overdose death.”
Only after Baker meet repeatedly with the prosecutors, Chauvin had already been charged with murder, and the riotous/looting mobs in Minneapolis were calling for blood, did Baker release his cause of death: “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” Even though Baker’s autopsy — with the concurrence of the Defense Health Agency — specifically excluded any injury to Floyd’s neck or any indication he had reduced airflow from his neck restraint.
The evidence publicly available is Floyd died from a combination of natural causes and his own decision to feed his drug addiction by ingesting at least four different illegal drugs that would suppress his breathing, including a significantly more than fatal dose of Fentanyl.
All four officers have filed motions to dismiss the charges Lane, Kueng, and Thao were all charged on June 3 with two criminal counts: Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder, and Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter.
Chauvin was charged on May 29 with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. On June 3 the charges were amended to 2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder, and 2nd degree manslaughter.
All four have filed motions to dismiss the charges based on the facts detailed above and their lack of intent to commit any crime.
Unbeknownst to the officers Floyd was in dangerously poor health and he chose to take a fatal dose of Fentanyl.
Lane states in support of his motion to dismiss the charges: “All he had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr. Floyd overdosed on Fentanyl.”
Conclusion
Floyd wasn’t murdered, and he wasn’t brutalized by the four officers. The prosecutor’s notes show they knew that before any charges were filed. However, the prosecutors caved to the howling mob and are seeking to satiate the mob’s blood lust by putting the four officers
in prison.
The evidence suggests the officer’s prosecution is nothing less than a modern day lynching party.
The four officers did not show any racial bias against Floyd. The officers treated Floyd with kid gloves and showed compassion bycalling paramedics because he was bleeding from diving out of the police car.
There is nothing in any of the body cam video (or its audio) that Floyd was treated any differently than an Asian, Hispanic, or White arrestee would have been who engaged in the same behavior as Floyd.
The officer’s haven’t filed motions for a change of venue, but if their motions to dismiss are denied they could do so. It is more likely a camel could pass through the eye of a needle than that any of the four could get a fair trial in Minneapolis.
All quotes and facts in this article are publicly available in the Fourth Judicial District Court (Hennepin County, MN) case files of: State vs. Derek Chauvin, 27-CR-20-12646; State vs. J Alexander Kueng, 27-CR-20-12953; State vs. Thomas Kiernan Lane, 27-CR-20-12951; State vs. Tou Thao, 27-CR-20-12949. The court’s website is http://mncourts.gov.
* * * * *
Hans Sherrer is President of the Justice Institute aka Justice Denied. The Justice Institute is based in Seattle, Washington and promotes awareness of wrongful convictions, and maintains the world’s largest database of exonerated persons. Its website is, www.justicedenied.org.
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