On Wednesday, a state investigator said three white pills were found in the Mercedes-Benz vehicle Floyd was driving last May, and a similar but smaller white pill with Floyd’s saliva was found at the back of the police car. The pills were analyzed in a lab and found to contain fentanyl and methamphetamine, a forensic scientist said.
Senior Special Agent James Reyerson saw a Minneapolis Police body camera clip showing Floyd saying something while handcuffed and lying on the floor. He first agreed with Chauvin’s defense attorney that it sounded like what Floyd had said, “I ate too many drugs.”
After a short break, the prosecution released a longer clip of the video for Reyerson. Reyerson then changed his mind. “I believe Mr. Floyd was like, ‘I don’t do drugs,'” he said.
The drug testimony is important to the defense argument that Floyd died due to a drug overdose and pre-existing health issues, rather than because of Chauvin’s actions. Prosecutors admitted Floyd’s opioid addiction, but said he died because Chauvin put his weight on Floyd’s neck and back for more than nine minutes – causing death from “positional asphyxiation.”
Earlier Wednesday, a Los Angeles Police Department use of force expert hired by the prosecution said Chauvin used excessive and lethal force on Floyd when none was needed.
Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, third degree murder and third degree manslaughter. The trial, which is now in its second full week of testimony, is expected to last about a month.
Forensic scientists say drugs found in the two vehicles
Several white pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in Floyd’s vehicle, and a smaller pill containing Floyd’s saliva was found in the back of the police car, three medical examiners said on Wednesday. .
BCA investigator McKenzie Anderson searched the vehicles involved in May and then again months later after initially failing to collect some of the pills.
Inside the police car, she first retrieved Floyd’s shoes and a strap and noted eight bloodstains that matched Floyd’s DNA. On her second search of the car, she recovered a pill with a rough texture that did not appear whole as well as several small pieces that she thought were pill fragments. Tests confirmed that the smaller pill contained Floyd’s saliva, she said.
Breahna Giles, a BCA forensic scientist, testified that she analyzed the white pills. They bore the marks of a pill containing oxycodone and acetaminophen, but after testing they actually contained methamphetamine and fentanyl, she said.
Additionally, a glass pipe recovered from the vehicle contained THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, but no plant material, Giles told the court.
Susan Neith, a forensic chemist who works for NMS Labs, also tested the same drugs to determine levels of fentanyl and methamphetamine. She testified that the levels of fentanyl detected were average and that the levels of methamphetamine were low.