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Chauvin trial: Forensics experts say tablets found in group car contained fentanyl, methamphetamine

April 7 (UPI) — Pills found at the scene of George Floyd’s death tested positive for fentanyl, methamphetamine and Floyd’s DNA, forensic scientists testified Wednesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. McKenzie Anderson, a forensic scientist at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, testified that two small white pills were recovered…


April 7 (UPI) — Pills located in the scene of George Floyd‘s death tested positive for fentanyl, methamphetamine and Floyd’s DNA, forensic scientists surfaced Wednesday at the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

McKenzie Anderson, a forensic scientist at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, testified two little white pills were retrieved from the center console of Floyd’s SUV, even though a box of Suboxone, a prescription medicine used for adults with opioid addictions, was found on the driver’s side floor and an unopened packet of the medication was seized in a search of the vehicle.

A look of this group car Floyd was placed to produced what seemed to be a lot of a tablet computer and smaller tablet remnants. DNA from among those pills matched Floyd along with also a similar match was created with bloodstains from eight places inside the vehicle.

Brehana Giles, another Minnesota BCA forensic scientist, testified that the tablets found in the SUV comprised methamphetamine and fentanyl, although the partial pill and other traces discovered in the squad car tested positive for methamphetamine. Another material was detected in a larger tablet, but it couldn’t be conclusively identified, along with a glass pipe from Floyd’s SUV tested positive for THC, the active substance in marijuana.

Susan Neith, a forensic chemist in NMS labs in Pennsylvania said the two pills found in the SUV along with the partial pill at the group car all comprised fentanyl concentrations of less than 1%, which she described as ordinary. The pills also contained an atypically low concentration of methamphetamine in 1.9%-2.9%.

“The majority of the time I see 90% to 100% methamphetamine,” she explained.

Anderson also responded to queries about why the medication were just captured in the squad car in December when an investigation was conducted May 27, two days after Floyd’s death.

She said forensics teams weren’t told by investigators to be particularly alert for evidence of drugs.

As a consequence, Anderson said she saw a white spot near the back passenger floor of this squad car through the May 27 hunt that seemed to be a pill but didn’t seize it.

“At the time, I didn’t have any information that I was looking for a pill,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it came off of somebody’s shoe, so at the time I didn’t give it any forensic significance based on the information that I had [and was] focusing on the blood that was on the back seat.”

Chauvin’s defense has sought to prove that Floyd died as a result of medication use and other medical factors instead of from Chauvin kneeling on his neck for almost 10 minutes.

During Wednesday’s testimony, James Reyerson, a special agent for the nation BCA, had been played a clip from former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng’s body-worn camera to the day of Floyd’s death.

Under questioning from defense lawyer Eric Nelson, Reyerson said it seemed like Floyd could be heard saying”I ate too many drugs.”

However, when introduced a more video including the same audio by prosecuting attorney Matthew Frank, Reyerson stated he noticed Floyd saying the opposite.

“I believe Mr. Floyd is saying,’I ai not doing no medication,” Reyerson said.

Frank noted that the response was”somewhat different” than his response to the shorter video and Reyerson agreed.

Reyerson further testified that Chauvin kept his weight on the back of Floyd’s necks for minutes after he was no longer talking or moving, noting that the officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck shortly after 8: 19 p.m., while Floyd fell silent before 8: 24 p.m. and stopped moving about a minute later.

Attorneys also continued questioning Los Angeles Police Sgt. Jody Stiger in Chauvin’s murder trial for Floyd’s death. Tuesday, Stiger said that his analysis of the arrest showed that the officer used excessive force.

Wednesday, Stiger said Chauvin’s force was deadly because Floyd was on the ground in a prone position.

“He wasn’t resisting, he was handcuffed, he wasn’t attempting to evade, he wasn’t trying to withstand,” he said. “And the stress that was being brought on by the body fat could cause positional asphyxia, which might cause death.”

Stiger added that Chauvin should have considered Floyd’s level of distress.

“As the time went on, clearly in the video you could see that Mr. Floyd’s medical — his health was deteriorating,” he said. “His breath was getting lower and his tone of voice was becoming lower and his moves were starting to cease. Whilst the officer on scene, you need to see that something is not right… so you have a responsibility to take some type of action.”

Stiger, a paid witness to the prosecution, also insisted that officials are trained to put a knee in between a defendant’s shoulder blades to control them on the floor. Officers, ” he added, are constantly cautioned to steer clear of the throat as far as possible to restrain a suspect — echoing testimony before this week from Minneapolis police trainer Lt. Johnny Mercil, who stated the exact same thing.

Stiger went on to say that the audience gathered at the scene out a Minneapolis convenience shop was not a threat and had not become aggressive.

Chauvin faces conviction on a charge of second- or third-degree murder in Floyd’s death. He could also be convicted of second-degree manslaughter. The trial is expected to last a couple more weeks.

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