George Floyd’s family is having none of it.
On Friday (Sept. 11), they pushed back against accusations from defense attorneys who said Floyd died of complications from the synthetic opioid drugs he took before his deadly arrest.
At a press conference after the pretrial court hearing in Minneapolis, Ben Crump, one of the attorneys representing Floyd’s family, said the four arresting officers — Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Lane — caused Floyd’s death.
“The only overdose that killed George Floyd was an overdose of excessive force and racism by the Minneapolis Police Department. George was lucid, cooperative, obeyed commands and had situational awareness when he died,” Crump said. “The world witnessed his asphyxiation on video, and now defense counsel is asking us to disbelieve our own eyes. Multiple autopsies determined that he died of asphyxiation because of the officers kneeling on his back and neck.”
The civil rights attorney called it a “classic police defense” to blame the dead victim and argue that suspects are responsible for their death if “any amount of drugs” is found in their system.
That claim “flies in the face of what we see with our own eyes on the video,” Crump stated.
The chilling video shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while the other officers standby and watch. Floyd is heard telling the officers that he cannot breathe, but they ignore him.
Prosecutors charged Chauvin with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Kueng, Lane and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.