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"I ate too many drugs" video may be game-changer: Chauvin trial Day 8 wrap-up

george floyd arrest
© Minneapolis Police Department
Screenshots of George Floyd arrest from bodycams and bystanders
Once again the defense weaponizes prosecution 'expert' witnesses against the prosecution case.

Welcome to our ongoing coverage of the Minnesota murder trial of Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd. I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense, providing guest commentary and analysis of this trial for Legal Insurrection.

State's Witness: Sergeant Jody Stiger, Los Angeles Police Department, Expert Witness

Today's testimony began with the continuation of the direct questioning by Prosecutor Schleiter of Sergeant Jody Stiger, of the Los Angeles Police Department, who has been retained by the state prosecutors as an expert witness on use-of-force tactics and policy.

You'll recall that the direct of Stiger began yesterday afternoon and ran for 30 minutes, until Judge Cahill decided to call it a day. That direct continued today for about another 45 minutes, before the witness was turned over to the defense.

Comment: Lawyer Jonathan Turley comments on the prosecution's audacious request to the jury:
Last week, special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell admitted to jurors that Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker pointed to cardiac arrest as Floyd's cause of death. However, he insisted that the state would prove that "was ... not a fatal heart event," but asphyxiation.

It is a bold move since it could invite reasonable doubt on the cause of death. The question is whether a case of manslaughter could have been advanced without the need of opposing the state's own coroner on such findings. The failure of Chauvin to respond to a medical emergency speaks more to manslaughter than murder but it could be framed consistently with these findings. Instead, the prosecution has asked the jury to effectively reject the coroner's findings — a risky maneuver.

We have previously discussed key defense elements in the case:
  • When called to the scene due to Floyd allegedly passing counterfeit money, Floyd denied using drugs but later said he was "hooping," or taking drugs.
  • The autopsy did not conclude that Floyd died from asphyxiation (though a family pathologist made that finding). Rather, it found "cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)." The state's criminal complaint against Chauvin said the autopsy "revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease." He also was COVID-19 positive.
  • Andrew Baker, Hennepin County's chief medical examiner, strongly suggested that the primary cause was a huge amount of fentanyl in Floyd's system: "Fentanyl at 11 ng/ml — this is higher than (a) chronic pain patient. If he were found dead at home alone & no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an OD (overdose). Deaths have been certified w/levels of 3." Baker also told investigators that the autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting Floyd died of asphyxiation.
  • The toxicology report on Floyd's blood also noted that "in fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/ml." Floyd had almost four times the level of fentanyl considered potentially lethal.
  • Floyd notably repeatedly said that he could not breathe while sitting in the police cruiser and before he was ever restrained on the ground. That is consistent with the level of fentanyl in his system that can cause "slowed or stopped breathing."
  • Floyd's lungs were two to three times the normal size and filled with fluid. "Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs" and it is symptomatic of an opioid overdose, according to Mayo Clinic. However, it should be noted that the Mayo Clinic report also addresses "Non-heart-related (non cardiogenic) pulmonary edema" and "Negative pressure pulmonary edema," which could be used to support the prosecution's theory.
  • Finally, the restraint using an officer's knee on an uncooperative suspect was part of the training of officers, and jurors will watch training videotapes employing the same type of restraint as official policy.
Conversely, Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, sounds more like the typical prosecutor noting that there is only one official autopsy and one official report on the cause of death. He told the jury
"Dr. Baker found none of what are referred to as the telltale signs of asphyxiation. There was no evidence that Mr. Floyd's airflow was restricted and he did not determine [it] to be a positional or mechanical asphyxia death."
Nelson can rely on other aspects of the official record. When Baker went over findings in a meeting last December with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, he specifically noted that the knee restraint was not likely to produce asphyxiation: "[I]t appeared to Dr. Baker that the pressure to the neck was coming from the back or posterior lateral portions of the back, and none of these strictures would impact breathing or cause loss of consciousness," said a document summarizing the meeting." He noted a study that found that placing 200 pounds of weight or more on a healthy person did not have an "observable impact on breathing."

Instead, Baker cited the drugs in the system as well as the 75-80% narrowing of coronary arteries that "put him at risk for a sudden cardiac arrest." The record of the meeting states "Dr. Baker offered that one possibility for the pathway of Floyd's death is that Floyd's heart was starting to fail because of the stress, drugs, enlarged heart, and [heart] disease . . . He said that once the heart starts to fail ... one of the symptoms is the perception that you cannot breathe."

After those findings were released, Baker's office had to be put under police protections due to threats to him and his staff.

By focusing the jury on the autopsy report, and asking them to effectively dismiss the conclusions of the only official report, the prosecutors increase the chances of a hung jury and even an acquittal. I previously expressed reservations about the push for murder charges because the case is better suited for a manslaughter case. If a jury feels the prosecutors have over-charged a case, it can produce a loss of credibility in the case. When you add an argument to dismiss the state's own autopsy findings, you risk magnifying such skepticism or mistrust with jury members.


Venezuelan mayor placed warning signs on homes of people who tested positive for coronavirus, threatened to cut state benefits

covid mark
© Instagram / @luisadrianduque
A mayor in central Venezuela has become the target of a government inquiry, after he began posting red markings on homes with Covid-positive residents, apparently as a way to warn locals to stay away.

The official, Luis Duque, posted a video to social media showing himself standing in front of a white paper sign featuring a red circle with a line drawn through it plastered onto the exterior of a home.

"We are protecting our people," he said in the clip, adding: "This indicates that there is a Covid case or a suspected Covid case, so the people are alert."

Comment: It's possibly worse in the locked down West, because over here it is actually sanctioned by national governments and is being enforced with technology:

Bizarro Earth

Heart-breaking video shows abandoned 10-year-old migrant boy found sobbing in Texas desert

migrant boy texas border
© Youtube
A migrant boy, who was abandoned in southern Texas after crossing over from Mexico, was recorded on video.
The U.S. Border Patrol has released a heartbreaking video taken by an agent who was approached by an abandoned 10-year-old migrant boy last week in a Texas desert near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The child is seen sobbing and asking for help, telling the off-duty agent who was on his way home, "They can rob me, kidnap me, I'm scared."

Comment: See also:


UK set to reach herd immunity within days say scientists

UK mask

Reaching herd immunity should not mean speeding up the lifting of lockdown, it has been warned
Real-time modelling indicates the nation is at a point where enough resistance is built up to combat the spread of infection.

Britain is set to reach herd immunity against COVID-19 within days marking a "milestone" in the fight against coronavirus, according to scientists.

Real-time modelling carried out by University College London indicates the UK should pass the critical threshold where the proportion of people who have protection against the virus either through vaccination, previous infection or natural immunity will hit 73.4% on Monday, 12 April.

Comment: It's notable that MPs and government scientists throughout the locked down West keep telling people that a return to some semblance of normal is coming, just not yet; and they've been saying this for over a year now, so are people foolish to continue to believe these broken promises?

In the meantime, they all also say that people need to keep complying with the nonsensical restrictions, the economy destroying lockdown, and that people need to make sure they take the experimental vaccines: German health minister promises freedom to travel to vaccinated, but doesn't say when it will happen

See also: Russia: World closer to return to normal than many recognize, global population nears threshold needed for herd immunity

Bizarro Earth

French clergymen ARRESTED over lockdown-breaking Easter mass attended by hundreds of worshipers

France church
© Unsplash / Numendil
FILE PHOTO: Saint-Eugene-Sainte-Cecile church in Paris
A parish priest and another clergyman have been arrested in Paris after breaking not just bread, but also France's Covid-19 rules, by holding Easter mass for up to 280 worshipers, many of whom were not wearing face masks.

Comment: Evidently they don't feel the need to wear them, despite government attempts to convince them otherwise.

The pair were detained on Thursday over the service at the Saint-Eugene-Sainte-Cecile church in Paris on April 3, and an investigation into the incident has been launched, according to French broadcaster BFM TV. Prosecutors confirmed the arrests to local media.

The clergymen's alleged Covid-related breaches include "deliberately endangering the life of others," "not wearing a mask," and holding a "gathering of more than six people."

Comment: This is just the latest in a score of incidents where police have intimidated churches over the Easter period; in London a holiday service was shutdown by police who claimed it contravened lockdown restrictions; meanwhile, over in Alberta, Canada, one priest had his church raided by police in retaliation for his defiance of Easter lockdown orders, and, at another church in the region, a priest with Polish heritage went viral after chasing the police out of his church, decrying them as 'Nazi's'.


NC bill proposes the prohibition of biological gender experimentation on children

gender dysphoria
The North Carolina State Senate introduced a new bill this week that would place restrictions on youth transgender access to health care as states nationwide reckon with similar legislation. Sens. Ralph Hise (R), Warren Daniel (R), and Norman Sanderson (R) sponsored the bill.

Senate Bill 514, or the Youth Health Protection Act, focuses on prohibiting minors from accessing various gender-affirming treatments, ranging from hormone blockers to sex reassignment surgeries.

The proposed legislation's main argument is that gender dysphoria, or the mismatch between a person's biological sex and their gender identity, may not be "permanent or fixed," and pursuing medical treatments based on gender dysphoria diagnoses could result in long-term health complications.

Comment: It is a sign of sanity that NC has proposed this bill. We'll see if it is signed into law.

Eye 2

Obligatory vaccines 'necessary in democratic society', European Court of Human Rights rules

This is the first time that the ECHR has delivered a judgement about compulsory vaccination against childhood diseases
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that obligatory vaccinations can be seen as necessary in democratic societies, in a landmark judgement after a complaint brought by Czech families over compulsory jabs for children.

This is the first time that the ECHR has delivered a judgement about compulsory vaccination against childhood diseases.

Experts say it could have implications for any policy of compulsory vaccinations against Covid-19.

Comment: The timing of the ruling is certainly suspect.

Comment: The attack on human rights over the last year has been relentless and, rather ominously, this violation has been sanctioned by the ECHR itself: Also check out SOTT radio's:

Stock Down

Quality of life plummets, taxes rocket — and New York City faces doom

NYP front page

The Post's front page for Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
"No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session."

That's how Gideon Tucker — a New Yorker who knew Albany as a former legislator, secretary of state and judge — put it back in 1866.

His wisdom, as demonstrated repeatedly over the ages, is timeless.

Comment: New York and California seem to be in a race to see who can experience complete societal collapse first. And they'll be mocking Florida and Texas all the way to the bottom of their death spiral.

See also:


'Soft' canceling: Headhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials

Headhunters have indicated difficulties in finding jobs for former Trump Cabinet officials in the months since leaving their posts, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Recruiters who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Post that former President Trump's significantly low approval rating upon leaving office, as well as being the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, has deterred companies from hiring former administration officials.

The headhunters said that offering a board seat to someone associated with the Trump administration could trigger a revolt from customers, employees or shareholders.

Comment: So the Washington woke culture has updated McCarthyism. Well done.

Return to McCarthyism? Messing and McCormack demand 'blacklist' of Trump supporters in Hollywood


United Airlines says it wants 50% of pilots trained in next decade to be women or people of color

united airlines
© John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
United Airlines announced on Tuesday that it would increase the number of women and people of color who become pilots, setting a goal for 50% of the 5,000 pilots trained in the next decade to fit the demographics.

The airline made the announcement on Twitter, writing, "Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That's why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color."

Twenty minutes after the initial tweet was sent - and after criticism from many on Twitter suggesting hiring people based on race and gender rather than talent would be dangerous - United followed up by saying: "All the highly qualified candidates we accept into the Academy, regardless of race or sex, will have met or exceeded the standards we set for admittance."

Comment: See also: