Case against Minneapolis officers appears to be unraveling before it gets to trial since facts matter

Attorneys for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin are requesting the dismissal of murder and manslaughter charges against him for the death of George Floyd. They’re using the police training manual as justification, Townhall reported.

According to the Minneapolis Police Department training manual, officers are shown how to subdue violent or resisting suspects by placing their knee on the neck, something Law Officer previously reported.

unravelingMinneapolis leaders as well as the state attorney general were also aware of a plethora of additional exonerating details discussed in the video as well as listed toward the end of this article. It will be a legal battle royale watching it play out in the courtroom.

Analysts and attorneys at Court TV explain, according to Townhall. It’s worth a full watch:

“From coast-to-coast everyone, absolutely outraged, especially by that fact, the knee on the neck. Well, guess what folks, take a look at what you’re looking at right here. That is from the police training manual,” attorney and host Vinnie Politan said. “Where this all comes from is from a motion to dismiss. A motion to dismiss that was filed by Derek Chauvin’s attorneys saying that the knee on the neck is part of his training as a Minneapolis police officer. And there we see it in the manual on the left and on the right is what we all have seen in the video of Officer Chauvin. So, is this a game-changer?”

“This one is absolutely shocking. I mean, this is what the whole story is about. This is what outraged millions and millions of people, this is what caused the protests. It was the knee on the neck…and now the defense is saying dismiss the charges because the knee on the neck is right there in the police training manual,” he continued.

So why did Chauvin continue holding his knee on Floyd’s neck after he became unresponsive?

“There comes a point where everyone is telling him, ‘Look, he’s not responding anymore.’ … I want our viewers to get familiar with a very important word here, it’s called “excited delirium.” … That’s what he’s going to use to explain why when [Floyd] was no longer responsive, he continued with the knee on the neck because that, when you talk about excited delirium, it’s about people who use drugs, which they’re going to claim they saw him using, that’s why they’re talking about the tablet on the tongue, bizarre behavior. We saw that, but eventually, it gets to something that’s called superhuman strength. Oftentimes people in that position, they show superhuman strength and that picture shows how you are supposed to restrain people when you are afraid for excited delirium,” Attorney Michael Ayala added. “This is a game-changer…it’s going to be tough to overcome this training instruction picture that shows exactly how [Chauvin] was doing it by the book.”


Newly released court documents show Floyd had a “fatal level” of Fentanyl in his system when he died. He also resisted arrest before being placed on the ground by officers. Moreover, he said he couldn’t breathe well before he was placed in a prone position, which is evidence of his overdose; something we now know occurred.

New documents filed in the George Floyd case give new information about the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s findings in Floyd’s autopsy.

Handwritten notes of a law enforcement interview with Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, say Floyd had 11 ng/mL of fentanyl in his system.

“If he were found dead at home alone and no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an OD. Deaths have been certified with levels of 3,” Baker told investigators.

In another new document, Baker said, “That is a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances.”

But then Baker added, “I am not saying this killed him.”

Defense attorneys for the officers have signaled they will argue Floyd died from the drugs and pre-existing health conditions.

The new documents say Floyd had a “heavy heart” and “at least one artery was approximately 75% blocked.”

Law Officer has been reporting these facts as they’ve trickled out over the past few months. We believe they will be difficult to overcome by a prosecutor who needs to to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd:

  • The body camera footage, that the State tried to hide from public view shows that Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe well before he was ever restrained on the ground by law enforcement. Medical experts will likely testify this was the result of narcotics in his system.
  • Floyd’s autopsy and toxicology reports documented that his breathing difficulty was not by a knee on his neck or pressure on his back, but by the fact that he had a lethal dose of Fentanyl in his bloodstream. In fact, the Fentanyl that he had ingested was nearly four times the lethal limit.
  • Floyd’s blood draw at the hospital established the presence of “Fentanyl 11 ng/mL” (nanograms per mL), among other drugs.
  • The toxicology reports says, “Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depressionseizures, hypotension, coma and death. In fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/mL.”
  • Similarly, the toxicology report also disclosed the presence of methamphetamine, which states, “capable of causing hallucinations, aggressive behavior and irrational reactions” as well as “restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, circulatory collapse and convulsions.”
  • The autopsy disclosed no physical injuries that could account for Floyd’s death.
  • The leaked bodycam footage corroborated signs/symptoms consistent with excited delirium. Will additional bodycam footage reveal more of the same?
  • While we don’t yet have all of the body camera footage, the transcript of video footage details a play by play of events that the prosecution will try to avoid because it exonerates the officers, including several statements that he couldn’t breathe, way before they placed him on the ground.
  • Officer Lane got into the ambulance and assisted with CPR on the way to the hospital.
  • The first version of the autopsy report didn’t mention “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” and the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors stated that the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.” Why was the county report later changed?
  • Prior to issuing the autopsy report, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s preliminarily details found that the “autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.” (Intoxicants later proved to be a lethal dose.)
  • The preliminary HCME findings were included in the arrest warrant for Chauvin, dated May 29. The toxicology report was dated May 31. How could a prosecutor who is seeking truth file charges prior to completion of the toxicology report when there was reason to believe the cause of death would be revealed in the findings?
  • Michael Baden never performed an actual (second) autopsy. Therefore, his opinions are greatly influenced by his payday. Moreover, he did not have access to toxicology results, tissue samples, or some organs.
  • After Baden’s announcement that the case was “a homicide due to the way he was being subdued,” the Hennepin County Medical Examiner amended his report to include the reference to “complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” How and why did this occur?
  • Regardless of the viral video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the autopsy report said there was no “conjunctival petechiae” which is a sign of possible mechanical compression of the neck and jugular veins (e.g. choking, strangulation).
  • The autopsy report said there was: “No injuries of anterior muscles of neck or laryngeal structures” … “No scalp soft tissue, skull or brain injuries” … “No chest wall soft tissue injuries, rib fractures (other than a single rib fracture from CPR), vertebral column injuries, or visceral injuries.”
  • It is true that the technique used by officers was an approved use of force measure in department policy and it was true that accompanying training discussed. What is also true is the 2018 training on excited delirium given to officers that told them the protocol if they encountered someone exhibiting behavior like Floyd’s. Other experts will disagree with their protocol, but it’s apparently what they had.
  • So the entire case appears to rest on the perception of Chauvin’s “inhumanity” with his knee positioned on Floyd’s head/neck while Floyd was actually in the process of an overdose death.
  • The answer to these questions in court will likely seal Chauvin’s fate: Was he (Chauvin) actually complying with department policy? Did the department teach/advocate the procedures being used? Was Floyd’s death the result of an overdose of Fentanyl or some manner of positional asphyxia brought on by excited delirium?


Author information

Law Officer

Law Officer

Law Officer is the only major law enforcement publication and website owned and operated by law enforcement. This unique facet makes Law Officer much more than just a publishing company but is a true advocate for the profession.

Please Login to Comment.