THE attorney of a former Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd has claimed that Floyd overdosed on fentanyl while resisting arrest, contributing to his own death.
According to a new filing in the case against Thomas Lane, his attorney, Earl Gray, argues that the charges against the officer should be dropped because Lane did "nothing wrong".
Lane was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd's death on Memorial Day.
In July, Gray filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Lane.
The attorney argued that there is not enough evidence to establish probable cause that the former cop committed a crime.
“Officer Lane did nothing wrong,” attorney Earl Gray wrote.
In Monday's filing, Gray pointed to police body cam footage to claim that it appears Floyd swallowed "2 milligrams of fentanyl," calling it "a lethal dose."
Gray claimed that Floyd swallowed the drugs while officers were attempting to take him into custody – pointing to a white spot on Floyd's tongue which, Gray claims, disappeared in the bodycam footage.
Court documents read: “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.
"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."
Toxicology testing found fentanyl and evidence of recent methamphetamine use in Floyd’s system, according to The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report.
Gray is expected to present his arguments for throwing out the charges against Lane at the case's next court hearing, on September 11.
The attorney had already submitted a filing in July petitioning the court to throw out the charges against Lane because they were legally deficient, the Star Tribune reported.
The filing also went into detail about Floyd's criminal background and his use of drugs.
Responding to those details, Floyd’s aunt, Angela Harrelson, and uncle, Selwyn Jones, said they felt disappointed Gray had brought up their nephew’s past in an attempt condone the officers’ actions.
“Regardless of his past, nothing justifies the way he died,” Harrelson told the Star Tribune.
“I just feel that to go after someone’s character to justify his death, I’m not pleased with that. I’m not saying that he was a perfect person. He made mistakes.
She added: "And he had a disease that he was working hard to fight against and it’s a tough disease to fight.”
In Floyd's death, on May 25, Lane held Floyd's legs while officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the 46-year-old's neck.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – the two other officers involved in the incident – are facing the same aiding and abetting charges as Lane.
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