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Derek Chauvin Trial: Testimony Turns To Pills Found At Scene

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Today crime scene investigators took the stand and talked about the evidence they've analyzed, Esme Murphy reports (3:10). WCCO 4 News At 6 - April 7, 2021

Video Transcript

FRANK VASCELLARO: It is day eight of the Derek Chauvin trial.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: Today, crime scene investigators took the stand and talked about the evidence they've analyzed. At the center of testimony today, pills-- pills found in the vehicle George Floyd had been in and pills found in the backseat of the squad car where George Floyd struggled with officers. Those pills were photographed but not tested until the defense asked in January. Also today, the words of George Floyd talking about pills. Esme Murphy joins us now with the latest. Hi there, Esme.

ESME MURPHY: Hi, Amelia. Well, that back-and-forth between the prosecution and defense played out in a dispute over what George Floyd may have said on a police body camera minutes before he died.

ERIC NELSON: I'd like you to see if you can tell me what Mr Floyd says in this instance.


ERIC NELSON: Did you hear what he said?

JODY STIGER: No, I couldn't make it out.

ERIC NELSON: Does it sound like he says, "I ate too many drugs"?

JODY STIGER: I can't make that out, no.


ESME MURPHY: While Sergeant Jody Stiger couldn't make it out, BCA agent James Reyerson said he could.

ERIC NELSON: Did it appear that Mr. Floyd said, "I ate too many drugs"?

JAMES REYERSON: Yes, it did.

ESME MURPHY: But when the prosecution played a longer clip, Reyerson changed his testimony, saying Floyd had said the opposite.

JAMES REYERSON: I believe Mr. Floyd was saying, "I ain't do no drugs."

ESME MURPHY: Sergeant Stiger, a paid prosecution expert on the use of force, testified Chauvin did, in fact, use deadly force on George Floyd.

- Why is that?

JODY STIGER: Because at the time of the restraint period, Mr. Floyd was not resisting. He was in the prone position. He was handcuffed. He was not attempting to evade. He was not attempting to resist. And the pressure that was being caused by the body weight would-- could cause positional asphyxia, which could cause death.

ESME MURPHY: But the defense got Stiger to acknowledge that Floyd continued to present a potential threat.

ERIC NELSON: When Mr. Floyd was initially saying that he couldn't breathe, he was actively resisting arrest.

JODY STIGER: Initially, when he was in the backseat of the vehicle, yes.

ERIC NELSON: A person who's in handcuffs can continue to be a threat. Agreed?


ERIC NELSON: They can kick you.


ERIC NELSON: They could bite you.


ERIC NELSON: And in certain instances, they can even get your weapon, right?


ESME MURPHY: Now, late this afternoon, a BCA scientist was on the stand testifying about a significant oversight by law enforcement in this case. The BCA missed finding a pill that had meth, fentanyl, and George Floyd's DNA on it. That pill was not found until eight months after George Floyd's death, and it was found in that squad car that the officers had tried to get George Floyd into.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: All right. Thank you, Esme. And CBSN Minnesota is your source for live updates during the Derek Chauvin trial. We are streaming the entire trial with extensive team coverage and analysis. You can watch free on any device with a CBS News app, or just go to wcco.com.