Judge rules 2019 arrest and bodycam footage of George Floyd inadmissible at trial

The Minnesota judge overseeing the trials of four former Minneapolis police officers accused in the death of George Floyd has ruled that bodycam footage from a prior arrest will not be admissible.

Judge Peter A. Cahill denied motions to use Floyd’s past encounters with law enforcement as evidence in an order Tuesday.

On May 6, 2019, Floyd had allegedly swallowed "large quantities" of drugs "in an attempt to avoid arrest," according to court records. He was also accused of "diversionary behavior such as crying and act[ing] irrationally."

One of the defendants, former officer Derek Chauvin, faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Cahill ruled earlier this month that Chauvin would stand trial separately from the others.

FILE - This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane each face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Their trial will begin in August.

Defense attorneys for the four had sought to use Floyd’s behavior during the 2019 arrest and in connection with a 2007 robbery conviction as evidence.

The judge denied both motions and also denied the prosecution’s bid to use past complaints against Thao and Kueng as evidence.

The judge allowed defense to introduce at least two past incidents involving Chauvin, who was seen in video holding his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before his death, but denied others.

Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after Chauvin, who is White, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed face down on the street. Police were investigating whether Floyd used a counterfeit bill at a nearby store. In a video widely seen on social media, Floyd could be heard pleading with officers for air, saying he couldn’t breathe.

The incident sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice, some of which devolved into riots, and a left-wing push to "defund the police."

All four officers were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.