Startling revelations have emerged in the George Floyd case, with sworn testimonies shedding light on the considerable pressure exerted on prosecutors to press charges. Testimony further discloses that the county’s medical examiner stated no medical evidence of asphyxia or strangulation in relation to Floyd’s death.
Extensive released sworn testimonies from Hennepin County attorneys and employees involved in the case exposed the significant pressure faced by prosecutors to charge Derek Chauvin and the three other former Minneapolis police officers in George Floyd’s death. Several individuals within the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, including a prosecutor for the case, withdrew, citing violations of professional and ethical rules due to the pressure to charge the other three officers.
These details were revealed as part of a sex discrimination complaint filed by former Hennepin County prosecutor Amy Sweasy against County Attorney Mike Freeman. In her 2022 complaint, Sweasy alleges disagreements over charging decisions that she believed breached professional and ethical rules. She withdrew from the case and claimed that three male assistant attorneys also disagreed with Freeman and refused to work on the case.
Sweasy asserts that, following the disagreement, she faced discrimination and retaliation, including ostracism, hostile treatment, removal of job duties, and denial of appropriate assignments.
The attorney representing former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng connected Sweasy’s statement to the George Floyd case, alleging that County Attorney Mike Freeman harassed and retaliated against her after her disagreement regarding charging decisions involving Thao, Lane, and Kueng.
In a deposition on June 6th, Lofton discussed the immense pressure prosecutors faced, characterized as an “extreme premium pressure,” to charge Derek Chauvin and the other involved officers due to the city being in chaos.
During Sweasy’s deposition, she recounted a conversation she had with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, the day after Floyd’s death. Sweasy stated that, according to the transcript, Baker revealed that the autopsy conducted on Floyd showed no injuries to the vital structures of his neck, and there were no medical indications of asphyxia or strangulation.
Tony Timpa’s case is often mentioned when discussing the George Floyd incident due to the similarities between the two cases. Both involved large men who had taken drugs, were unarmed, and were pinned to the ground in a prone position. However, there are significant differences between the two stories.
In August 2016, 32-year-old Tony Timpa died while in the custody of Dallas police officers. Like Floyd, Timpa was pinned face down to the ground, but for over 14 minutes, with an officer’s knee in the center of his back rather than near his neck.
Timpa, a white man, was experiencing a mental health breakdown and had called 911 for assistance. His cause of death was attributed to “excited delirium syndrome” related to cocaine detected in his system and the physiological stress resulting from physical restraint, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner.
A pathologist hired by Timpa’s family claimed that he died from asphyxia, similar to the findings of a private pathologist hired by George Floyd’s family. Despite both men being subjected to the same police tactics, the outcomes were starkly different. Timpa’s death did not generate widespread national outcry, calls for reform, or a settlement for his family. Initially, the three officers involved in Timpa’s case were charged with misdemeanor deadly conduct, but the charges were later dismissed by the district attorney.
The primary difference in public reaction to these cases lies in race, with Floyd being black and Timpa being white.
When Timpa called 911, he was in a state of mental distress and seeking help. Sadly, he encountered excessive force from the Dallas police officers and suffered a slow death. Similar to Floyd, Timpa was pinned face down for an extended duration of over 14 minutes.
Disturbingly, one of the officers involved in the incident, Dustin Dillard, was promoted and now holds the rank of Sr. Cpl., responsible for training rookie officers.
On the evening of May 25, 2020, George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a store clerk called the police to report suspected forgery. As the police arrived, Floyd reportedly swallowed a speedball, a combination of drugs including fentanyl and methamphetamine.
After resisting arrest for approximately 15 minutes, Floyd was eventually taken to the ground by police, where he subsequently died. An autopsy conducted on Floyd revealed he had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system, as well as arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, hypertension, and sickle cell trait. Additionally, Floyd purportedly told officers that he had contracted COVID-19 and was still positive for the virus at the time of his arrest.
Dr. Andrew Baker, who conducted the official autopsy, stated that police restraint “in his opinion” was the primary cause of Mr. Floyd’s death, but he also noted drug use and heart disease as contributory factors.
It was determined the dose of fentanyl Floyd ingested was more than lethal. At the time of the arrest, the Minneapolis Police Department’s training materials included a protocol called the “Maximal Restraint Technique,” which involved officers placing a knee on a handcuffed subject’s neck. This exact restraint was used on Floyd.
In a side-by-side comparison between the Minneapolis police handbook and the picture of the officers retraining George Floyd, the images match up almost exactly.
Derek Chauvin was sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison for the death of George Floyd. Chauvin could serve a minimum of 10 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. According to the New York Times, the judge noted that the sentence should “reflect the gravity of the offense,” and that Chauvin should “never again be allowed to pose a threat to public safety.” Therefore, it is likely that Chauvin will serve the full 40 years in prison, unless he is granted parole early.
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