Did George Floyd say ‘I ate too many drugs’ or ‘I ain’t do no drugs’? Lead investigator changes testimony
Senior Special Agent James Reyerson, the lead investigator on the George Floyd case, changed his previous testimony minutes after being played a longer version of an officer's bodycam clip in court to check what he heard
On the eighth day of the Derek Chauvin murder trial, top crime scene investigator into Geroge Floyd’s death gave his testimony. Senior Special Agent James Reyerson from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took the stand on Wednesday, April 7. However, in a shocking turn of events, he changed his testimony minutes after saying he had heard Floyd saying: “I ate too many drugs”.
As per reports, Reyerson claimed in court that he had seen all of the video recordings of Floyd’s arrest. He said, “I’ve seen all of them, I’ve reviewed some of them closely, yes.” When Nelson questioned him, “Did you ever hear Mr Floyd say ‘I ate too many drugs’?” the top crime scene investigator replied negatively.
However, when he was shown a clip from one of the cop's body-worn cameras at the scene on May 25, 2020, and again asked if he did make out those words, Reyerson responded, “Yes I did.”
Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane's bodycam was NOT on when Sgt Jon Edwards arrived on the scene of George Floyd's arrest
But when Reyerson was summoned again by prosecutors, who played a longer version of the clip in the court, the senior special agent changed his testimony and said he thinks Floyd actually said: “I ain’t do no drugs.” The same recording shown to Reyerson was also played for use of force expert witness Jody Stiger by Nelson earlier in the day. Stiger had claimed that he could not understand what the 46-year-old African-American man was saying in that.
Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter after being accused of kneeling down on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes that resulted in his death. Chauvin along with three other officers had arrived at the scene on May 25 last year, in 2020, after receiving a complaint of Floyd trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill. The officer has pleaded not guilty to charges saying he did what he was taught to do in his profession.
Meanwhile, on April 7, Reyerson also told the jurors that the two vehicles - one used by Floyd and the other used by police - were processed twice. The first time the vehicles were checked was on May 27, 2020. The second time this happened was in December 2020. However, it was only in January 2021, when the defense requested to check Floyd’s car, a half-chewed pill - a mix of methamphetamine and fentanyl - was discovered containing the Black man’s DNA and saliva.
This comes after Tuesday, April 6, officer Nicole Mackenzie, the medical support coordinator with the Minneapolis Police Department, took the stand to give her testimony. The former EMT told the court that just because Floyd was able to say he couldn’t breathe while Chauvin was allegedly using force on him, it did not mean he had enough supply of air.
During the questioning session when prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Mackenzie if the cops are trained to think “that if a person can talk, that means that they can breathe?” She replied no and when she was pressed further for the reason, Mackenzie explained, “That would be incomplete to say, because there is a possibility somebody could be in respiratory distress and still being able to verbalize it. Just because they are speaking does not mean they are breathing adequately.”