Lawyers will face uphill battle to justify Derek Chauvin’s treatment of George Floyd

For the first time we’ve now seen what happened in the moments after George Floyd’s arrest.

Two paramedics arrived at the scene and saw a number of police officers on top of him.

They assumed the patient was putting up a struggle. On closer inspection they found he was in fact unresponsive.

The court heard officers stayed on George Floyd’s neck while one paramedic tried to detect a pulse. He didn’t find one.

“In lay terms, I thought he was dead,” said Derek Smith.

More harrowing bodycam footage shows the other paramedic Seth Bravinder gesturing for the officers to move.

George Floyd treated by paramedic. Image from court
George Floyd treated by paramedic. Image from court

They then pull George Floyd’s “limp” body onto a stretcher and into the ambulance.

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A cardiac monitor showed George Floyd was flatlining – essentially there was no pulse.

It was only after the ambulance arrived that George Floyd received medical attention. By this point paramedics already believed him to be dead.

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‘He was one of a kind’

It’s going to be an uphill battle for the defence to justify Derek Chauvin’s actions – keeping his knee on George Floyd’s neck – when he was in the condition described by the paramedics as “unresponsive”, “limp”, and “dead”.

The prosecution has once again sought to deal with the issue of George Floyd’s drug use.

Emotional testimony from his girlfriend Courteney Ross described how they both suffered from an opioid addiction over a number of years.

Derek Chauvin (R) listens during the opening of his trial
Derek Chauvin (R) listens during the opening of his trial

It’s another pre-emptive strike by prosecutors seeking to take the wind out of the defence’s sails, who will likely claim he died of a drug overdose.

The prosecution strategy is to show George Floyd had used drugs long-term – so why would opioids have killed him on 25 May last year?

The big difference that day, they will argue, is Derek Chauvin’s knee was on his neck.

Prosecutors are seeking to appear transparent with the jury that George Floyd was no angel.

He took drugs and he may have been high and have resisted arrest on the day in question.

But they will seek to show he was a human being with flaws like the rest of us and none of those things killed him.

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