Derek Chauvin: Police officer’s trial isn’t going as the left had planned
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The jury trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd continued this week. But the trial thus far doesn’t seem to be going where the left had planned. In fact, the testimony has begun to shine light on facts suppressed by officials and the media during the painfully long months leading up to this controversial case. It now seems possible that Chauvin and his knee hold may not be the cause of Floyd’s death after all.
The defense of Derek Chauvin is beginning to appear, even before his attorney gets his chance to respond to the prosecution’s charges. Eric Nelson, the officer’s attorney, said in his opening statement on Monday that Morries Hall and Shawanda Hill — passengers in Floyd’s car when police first approached it — would testify that Floyd injected drugs shortly before the officers approached the car that day.
Holes begin to appear in the standard Floyd-Chauvin narrative
As reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, both the prosecution and the defense listed Morries Hall as a witness. Police bodycam footage showed Hall and Shawanda Hill sitting in Floyd’s SUV when police approached him about a counterfeit $20 bill. Supporting this premise, Cup Foods cashier Christopher Martin, a prosecution witness, testified Wednesday that Hall was sitting in the SUV’s front seat when Martin went out to the car to confront him about the counterfeit bill. Martin further testified that Hall did most of the talking and was aggressive.
Defense attorney Nelson said Hall and Hill would testify that Floyd had consumed two pills in the car before police arrived. Allegedly, he then fell asleep. Subsequently, neither of them could wake him up.
“The evidence will show that when confronted by police, Mr. Floyd put drugs in his mouth in an effort to conceal them from police,” Nelson told the jury. He further indicated that the defense plans to show that Floyd caused his own death by an overdose of illegal narcotics and not at the hands of police. The latter allegation, focusing on Derek Chauvin, has served as the standard narrative ever since the events surrounding Floyd’s death began to unfold on May 25, 2020.
The strange case of Morries Hall
Officials said that Morries Hall was wanted at the time on multiple warrants and gave a fake name to police the day Floyd died. Then he left town. Authorities later tracked Hall to Texas. They arrested him there on outstanding warrants for felony possession of a firearm, felony domestic assault, and felony drug possession.
Hall boasted to the media that he would be a witness in the Floyd murder trial. “I’m a key witness to the cops murdering George Floyd, and they want to know my side. Whatever I’ve been through, it’s all over with now. It’s not about me,” he told The New York Times in an interview in June of 2020.
Hall continued to represent himself as a good friend of Floyd. He said that the dead man had been a mentor to him. But on Wednesday night, Adrienne Cousins, the public defender representing Hall, notified the court in a motion that the “key witness” decided to take the Fifth Amendment.
“Mr. Morries Lester Hall, through undersigned counsel, hereby provides notice to all parties in this matter that if called to testify he will invoke his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination pursuant to U.S. Constitution, Amendment V,” the motion read.
Was Morries Hall dealing drugs to George Floyd?
Hall’s attorney also moved to quash his client’s subpoena to appear at the Derek Chauvin trial, and release Hall from any obligations. But Hall’s refusal to testify may also play into the hands of Chauvin’s defense, especially after the testimony offered on Thursday by Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross.
Ross testified that her boyfriend bought drugs from Hall on multiple occasions. She further testified that she also had an opioid addiction and frequently did drugs with Floyd. She said that she didn’t particularly like Hall and didn’t trust him. But Ross tried to walk back earlier statements she made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents. She told them that Hall sold Floyd pills and Hill sold him heroin. However, Ross did confirm in court that she had made those statements to investigators shortly after the incident.
Additionally, Ross confirmed she told investigators that she and Floyd previously took pills that were supposed to be Percocet. But those pills had the opposite effect of making Floyd jumpy and unable to sit still.
Was drug abuse the actual cause of George Floyd’s death?
Investigators found pill fragments in Floyd’s vehicle that looked like Percocet. But later examination, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, showed the pill fragments actually contained a mixture of methamphetamine and fentanyl. Confirmed by the autopsy report, this cornucopia of drugs in Floyd’s system at the time of his arrest — hidden from scrutiny until recently — seems to aid the Chauvin defense case, which argues that Floyd, through his illegal use of drugs, caused to his own death.
Derek Chauvin currently faces charges of second-degree and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The first two charges require the prosecution to prove that officer Chauvin intended to harm Floyd. It now appears that any fair and impartial jury should dismiss those charges.
The manslaughter charge against Chauvin might still lead to a guilty conviction. But the defense, through its demonstration of the facts pointing to massive drug abuse by Floyd just prior to his arrest, might persuade the jury to find Chauvin innocent of all charges.
What happens if the trial of Derek Chauvin fails to turn out as predicted?
Officials fear that a finding that exonerates Derek Chauvin is almost certain to incite more rounds of rioting by BLM and Antifa, not only in Minneapolis, but across the country as well. As the nation has learned, at least over the past year, neither of these demonstrably anti-American organizations really want they define as “justice” in this case. They are looking for an updated pretext to resume their campaign of vengeance against all police in this country. Chauvin currently serves as a convenient scapegoat for all police in this nation, just as surely as those Los Angeles officers who were found not guilty in the beating of Rodney King way back in 1991. These officers, too, were handed over to the criminal justice system to appease black and far left-wing voters. It’s a well-established pattern.
Some fear a repeat of the aftermath that followed the verdict in the King trial. In that case, Los Angeles experienced its worst rioting and looting ever. Jurors in the Chauvin trial may feel it necessary to find him guilty of at least one of the current charges. They may fear that setting him could cause Minneapolis to burn once again.
What about the other officers involved in the George Floyd incident?
However, former Minneapolis Police Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane, and Tou Thao, charged with aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder, could take comfort in seeing their fellow officer freed. That could portend a better outcome for them, too. It could also lead to prosecutors dropping the charges against them altogether.
At this time, their trials will be held together in August. Attorneys already contend that Floyd’s death resulted from a drug overdose, and not from any action by the arresting officers.
In any event, this trial may still surprise the many. Specifically, those who bought into a false narrative about the Floyd death right from the very beginning.
About the author:
Joseph Ragonese is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a retired police officer, has a degree in Criminal Justice, a businessman, journalist, editor, publisher, and fiction author.