Story at a glance
- Chauvin’s defense discovered a narcotic “speedball” pill with Floyd’s DNA in Chauvin’s squad car.
- A forensic analysis of the pill, performed at the request of Chauvin’s defense team, revealed fentanyl and methamphetamine.
- The car had been previously sealed since May 27, 2020.
Defense attorneys for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, said Wednesday they found a narcotic “speedball” pill with Floyd’s DNA in the back of Chauvin’s squad car months after police searched the vehicle for evidence.
A forensic analysis of the pill, performed at the request of Chauvin’s defense team, revealed fentanyl and methamphetamine, The New York Post reported. Chavin’s police car was searched by the defense in January. The car had been previously sealed since May 27, 2020.
McKenzie Anderson, a forensic scientist with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, told the prosecution that upon first search she did not see anything she believed to be of any scientific value. Anderson added that the pill was among a variety of chewed up “irregularly shaped,” pills in the back of Chauvin’s car, The Post reported.
“At the time, again, I didn’t have any information that I was looking for anything like a pill, or resembling a pill,” Anderson said. “It was in the back seat of the squad car. I wasn’t sure what it was. So, at the time I didn’t give it any forensics significance.”
Experts testifying at Floyd’s trial have argued that Chauvin’s act of kneeling on Floyd’s neck was excessive, NPR reported.
Sgt. Jody Stiger, a use-of-force expert at the Los Angeles Police Department, previously testified that by his estimation the force was excessive and that Floyd was not a threat once he was restrained.
Chauvin’s defense bolstered the potential value of their findings, citing the idea that the defense’s search of the vehicle would not have been possible without the consent of the proper authorities.
“The defense would not have access if you weren’t there,” Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson said while questioning state investigator James Reyerson.
Both Floyd’s and Chauvin’s vehicles were searched in May 2020. Floyd’s SUV was searched again at the request of the defense in Dec. 2020.
Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
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