A former federal and state prosecutor dissects the evidence against the police officers charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, and concludes that there's substantial evidence that in fact, he died of a drug overdose. He also asks troubling questions about why the release of that evidence was delayed, and asks why the charges have not been dropped in the light of it. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Then, on May 31, 2020, NMS Labs forwarded Floyd’s toxicology report to the Hennepin County Medical Examiners’ Office.
And that’s when the proverbial fecal matter hit the fan.
At 7:30 p.m. on May 31, 2020, prosecutors “met” online with Dr. Andrew Baker, Chief Medical Examiner of Hennepin County, to discuss Floyd’s toxicology report.
. . .
So there they were, staring at the just-received and damning toxicology report that blew to smithereens the whole prosecution theory that the police had killed Floyd. To their undoubted dismay, Dr. Baker, the chief medical examiner, had to concede that at 11 ng/mL, Floyd had “a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances.” He also conceded that the fentanyl overdose “can cause pulmonary edema,” a frothy fluid build-up in the lungs that was evidenced by the finding at autopsy that Floyd’s lungs weighed two to three times normal weight.
This is consistent with Officer Kueng’s observation at the scene that Floyd was foaming at the mouth and, as found at autopsy, that his lungs were “diffusely congested and edematous.”
In other words, like a drowned man, Floyd’s lungs were filled with fluid. And that was the obvious and inescapable reason why Floyd kept shouting over and over again that he couldn’t breathe even when he was upright and mobile.
The memorandum ends with Dr. Baker’s devastating conclusion that “if Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he [Dr. Baker] would conclude that it was an overdose death.”
Translation: this toxicology report drives a stake through the heart of our murder case. How do we justify criminally charging these police officers and explain away our colossal screw-up?
It is quite telling that this explosively exculpatory June 1 memorandum was not released by the prosecution until August 25, 2020. All of which prompts these questions:
First, why did the prosecution wait three months to release this memorandum?
Second, if the prosecution had released this information in a timely fashion, would that have helped to quell the anti-police outrage that has fueled the nationwide orgy of rioting and looting?
Third, in light of Floyd’s toxicology results and the medical examiner’s assessment that Floyd’s fentanyl overdose caused him to essentially drown in his own bodily fluid, why haven’t the charges against all of the police defendants been dropped?
The handwriting is on the wall. Through all of the rioting, looting, and burning, the prosecution has kept secret its knowledge that George Floyd died as the result of a self-administered overdose of fentanyl.
There's more at the link, including the full memorandum in question. The article was published some weeks ago, but I didn't notice it until recently - hence this belated mention.
I don't see how a charge of murder can be sustained against the officers in question, given evidence like that. It exculpates them entirely. They may be guilty of procedural errors, but even that is in question, given their department's policies and training. There's so much "smoke and mirrors" surrounding the case that it's hard for outsiders to know the truth; and the mainstream news media appear uninterested in following up on the evidence revealed above, which makes an unbiased assessment even more difficult.
More and more, it looks like the officers involved were thrown to the wolves in a vain attempt to placate the mob. What's more, it looks like the refusal to produce this evidence in a timely manner may have fueled the ongoing riots and protests across the country. If that can be demonstrated, will Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis be criminally or civilly liable for the billions of dollars in damage and commercial loss suffered by the locations of those riots and protests? I wouldn't be surprised to see enterprising attorneys try to make that case.
Meanwhile, Officer Derek Chauvin is still in jail, while his three colleagues are free on (very high) bail. The evidence described above makes one question the justice of that situation.