The knee-on-the-neck arrest of George Floyd had nothing to with his death — because he actually “killed himself,” a lawyer for one of the four charged cops has claimed.
Earl Gray, the attorney for Thomas Lane, has already filed court papers trying to dismiss the fired officer’s charges, insisting the real cause of Floyd’s death was an overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl.
Gray now claims it will help clear all of the fired cops — even Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer filmed with his knee of Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as he begged, “I can’t breathe.”
“None of these guys — even Chauvin — actually killed him,” Gray told the Los Angeles Times of the May death ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
“He killed himself,” he insisted of Floyd, whose death sparked months of often violent protests across the US and parts of the rest of the world.
“We are going to show that my client and the other cops were doing their jobs,” he insisted.
The veteran criminal defense attorney said he will base his case on toxicology and autopsy reports, which found fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system.
Recently released police body camera footage also gave a fuller picture of the arrest, including the disappearance of a white spot on Floyd’s tongue that looks like “2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose,” he has said.
Floyd also told the officers he’d been “hooping,” slang for taking drugs, the report noted.
Legal experts believe the case could prove less clear cut than the initial rush to judgment by the public.
“This is not a slam dunk for the prosecution and not an easy case, especially for the higher-degree homicide charges,” Philip Stinson, a Bowling Green State University criminologist and former cop who studies police misconduct, told the L.A. paper.
“If this case goes to trial and an officer testifies on his own behalf, it is possible there is reasonable doubt there for jurors.”
Chauvin is charged with Floyd’s murder. Lane and two other officers — Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — each face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
All four were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after footage emerged of the death.
Attorneys for Chauvin, Kueng and Thao declined to comment on Gray’s comments, as did prosecutors in the case, the Los Angeles Times said.
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