After two nights of protests over another police shooting in Minneapolis, attorneys on Tuesday began building the case in defense of former officer Derek Chauvin. They called witnesses who encountered George Floyd in a 2019 police stop about one year before he died.
Retired police officer Scott Creighton testified that Floyd’s May 6, 2019, arrest escalated quickly.
Retired paramedic Michelle Moseng said Floyd told her he had high blood pressure and he had been taking multiple opioids every 20 minutes.
Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson is trying to build the case that Floyd’s addiction and underlying health conditions caused his death last year, not Chauvin’s actions when he restrained a handcuffed Floyd on the ground and put his knee on his neck for nine minutes.
What sparked the recent protests? On Sunday, officer Kim Potter of Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.
The next day, police Chief Tim Gannon released the body camera footage, saying he believed it was an “accidental discharge” and Potter meant to use her Taser.
Potter and Gannon both resigned on Tuesday. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said he appreciated the resignations and hoped they would help the community heal. Prosecutors expect to decide Wednesday whether to charge Potter.