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Attorney Files To Dismiss Charges In George Floyd Case Saying He Died Of Overdose

Minneapolis, MN – An attorney for one of the officers charged in the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police filed a motion to dismiss charges on Tuesday because Floyd overdosed on fentanyl while he was resisting arrest.

Earl Gray, the attorney for former Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane, said in the motion that Floyd swallowed fentanyl tablets while the officers were trying to take him into custody, KMSP reported.

Gray said that the bodycam video of Floyd’s arrest showed a white spot on his tongue that disappeared a moment later.

In the motion to dismiss, former Officer Lane’s attorney argued it looked like Floyd was swallowing “2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose” in order to avoid being caught holding the drugs, KMSP reported.

“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,” Gray wrote in the court filing. “Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr. Floyd’s intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death.”

He argued there was no evidence to establish probable cause that his client had contributed to Floyd’s death, KMSP reported.

Former Officer Lane’s attorney had already asked the judge to dismiss the charges against his client in a motion filed on July 7.

Gray filed officers’ bodycam videos and transcripts of the audio from them with that motion, KSMP reported.

That motion also said that there was a lack of evidence to support probable cause for the charges against the former officer.

Former Officer Lane is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death while he was being arrested on May 25.

Gray previously revealed that his client was one of two of the officers charged in connection with Floyd’s death who were rookies under the tutelage of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, their field training officer (FTO).

Chauvin is the former officer charged with second-degree murder in the death of Floyd after video depicted him kneeling on the suspect’s neck for nine minutes.

The attorney said that Floyd’s arrest occurred during Lane’s third shift as a police officer, according to NBC News.

Despite the fact that Floyd died on his third day on the job, former Officer Lane was charged with lesser crimes than Chauvin but that carry the same potential sentences as the second-degree murder his former FTO is facing.

All of the officers involved in the arrest were fired the day after Floyd died in custody.

Gray’s latest motion highlighted toxicology results from the final version of Floyd’s autopsy that showed evidence of fentanyl and recent methamphetamine use, the New York Post reported.

The final autopsy findings released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office hours also confirmed that Floyd had died from heart failure.

“Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” Floyd’s autopsy said. “Manner of death: Homicide.”

“How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the report continued. “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

Gray is expected to argue for dismissing the charges against former Officer Lane at his next court appearance on Sept. 11, KMSP reported.

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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