Bombshell report: Attorneys file motion stating medical examiner was coerced to say George Floyd died of asphyxia

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- On Wednesday, May 12th, attorneys for former Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao filed a motion asking the court to sanction prosecutors for failing to disclose information about the coercion of a specific witness.

According to reports, Bob Paule, one of Thao’s attorneys claimed that the Hennepin County medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, was coerced to include “neck compression” in his findings and that the prosecutors knew of it.

The motion also asked the judge to kick the attorney general off of the case for prosecutorial misconduct. Reportedly, activity had picked up for the impending joint trial this coming August of former Minneapolis Police Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Thao.

The day after that motion was filed, Thursday, May 13th, the judge made the decision to delay the officers’ trial until March of 2022. The trial for all three former officer was set to begin on August 23, 2021.

Judge Peter Cahill pushed the trial start date back to March 7, 2022, citing that there needs to be “space” from the publicity that will occur from former officer Derek Chauvin’s June 25th sentencing. 

Chauvin was found guilty for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and third-degree manslaughter for the death of Floyd as he was being arrested on May 25, 2020. Kueng, Lane, and Thao have been charged with third-degree aiding and abetting the murder of Floyd.

Reportedly, new federal charges have been filed against the three former officers for allegedly depriving Floyd of his civil rights, which carry more serious potential penalties. The defense attorneys all agreed that the case should go before a state trial. 

Two other issues were presented to Judge Cahill. The first involved a motion from Early Gray, counsel for Lane, which asked to receive all Minneapolis Police Department use-of-force complaints to show that no other officer has ever intervened with force on another officer, as the state says Lane, Thao, and King should have done with Chauvin.

Judge Cahill did not rule on the matter, but asked prosecutors to determine what the volume of 10 years of use-of-force reports would be and the number of reports generated in five years, to help guide his decision.

The final motion presented to Judge Cahill concerned alleged leaks by state prosecutors to the New York Times regarding a plea deal with Chauvin that reportedly fell apart. Cahill scheduled an evidentiary hearing for August so the issue can be discussed in greater depth.

Judge Cahill also began to tackle the motion from Thao’s attorney that accused Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal of ethics violations. 

In the motion filed by Thao’s attorneys, they are claiming that Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Baker changed his autopsy findings after he was threatened by the former DC chief medical examiner with a nasty column in the Washington Post

Paule alleged in their motion that Baker received a call in the two days prior to the release of the autopsy reported from former DC Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Roger Mitchell who reportedly told Baker that he “should fire his public information officer” for releasing the initial statement that said the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.” The motion read:

“After the phone conversation between Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Baker, Dr. Mitchell decided he was going to release an op-ed of Dr. Baker’s findings in the Washington Post. Dr. Mitchell first called Dr. Baker to let him know.”

The motion also stated:

“The final autopsy findings included neck compression. This was contrary to Dr. Baker’s conclusion before speaking with Dr. Mitchell twice.”

Paule also pointed out in the motion that Mitchell went after former Maryland Chief Medical Examiner David Fowler after he testified on behalf of the defense and sent a letter asking for an investigation of Fowler’s medical license. The motion read:

“Less than 24 hours after receiving the letter, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office announced that there should be a review of all in custody death reports produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner during Dr. Fowler’s tenure.”

The motion added:

“There is no discovery disclosed condoning Dr. Mitchell’s intimidation and coercion. This includes no documentation that the State reported Dr. Mitchell to the pertinent medical board(s) for his behavior and potential criminal activity.”

Paule alleged in the document that several specific prosecutors had knowledge that Mitchell had coerced Baker, but did absolutely nothing about it. Cahill has not yet ruled on those motions. 

On June 25th, Chauvin will be sentenced and faces up to 40-years in prison after Judge Cahill ruled the aggravated nature of his crimes warranted enhanced sentencing.

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It begins: Biden Justice Department announces federal probe into Minneapolis Police Department

April 23rd, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Wednesday that the Justice Department will begin an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after a jury convicted former officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, a death which has resulted in nearly 11 months of sometimes violent riots.

The probe, known as a “pattern-or-practice” inquiry will be more wide-ranging than a separate federal investigation into Floyd’s death last May, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The federal investigation will look into whether or not officers within the Minneapolis police department engage in routinely violating the civil rights of citizens through excessive force, discriminatory policing or other prohibited behavior.

While Floyd’s death has led leftists to claim an issue of “systemic police racism,” no such charges were brought against Chauvin which alleged Floyd’s death was due to racial animus.

Even before the guilty verdict, the Justice Department has begun soliciting information from the public in order to find out what their experiences were with Minneapolis PD officers, Garland said.

On Tuesday, the former officer was convicted by a jury of murder and manslaughter related to Floyd’s death, which led to the riots and calls for some form of criminal justice reform from both Democrats as well as Republicans.

Democrats’ calls have been much more radical, with a number of lawmakers on the left side of the aisle calling for defunding of police. The more radical elements, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaiab (D-MI) have called for the elimination of police, as well as prisons.

In announcing the new probe, Garland said:

“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis. Building trust between community and law enforcement will take time and effort by all of us. But we undertake this task with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait.”

City officials in Minneapolis said they welcomed the investigation, including both Mayor Jacob Frey as well as Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who said his department would fully cooperate in the investigation.

He noted that he had sought federal help for some time while trying “to make the MDP the best department possible.” Arradondo acknowledged the intent of the inquiry, which he said was designed “to reveal any deficiencies and unwanted conduct within the department” was appreciated.

He also said he is hopeful the probe would “provide adequate resources and direction” to correct any such deficiencies.

The Journal reached out to a union official for the police department, who declined to comment.

The move by Garland marks a change in direction for the federal government and signals a much more “anti-police” sentiment from the Biden administration, which isn’t surprising.

Under the Trump administration, such investigations had been sharply reduced.

The investigation announced by Garland often-times results in court-enforceable agreements known as “consent decrees” which ostensibly puts the department under control of the federal government and removes local oversight.

Trump’s DOJ believed such decrees were unfair to local authorities, however Garland, appointed by Biden believes the federal government needs more of a role in local policing.

Senior Justice Department officials said the agency would study how officers in the department are trained, as well as how policies are derived and implemented.

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The investigation will be conducted by officials from the DOJ’s civil-rights division, as well as the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota.

They will examine use of force by Minneapolis police officers during riots, look into whether they engage in discriminatory conduct, or mistreat citizens with behavioral health issues.

The probe will also look into accountability standards and practice for the department, Garland said.

“I strongly believe that good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices,” Garland noted. “Good officers welcome accountability because accountability is an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust.”

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the DOJ’s civil rights division had wanted to open a pattern-or-practice investigation into Minneapolis last year after it was learned that officers in the department had used neck restraints approximately 240 times over five years.

In 40 such incidents, they claimed, suspects had been rendered unconscious.

However former Attorney General William Barr opposed any such probe over concern that an additional federal investigation would diminish morale within the department at a time when there was already a significant amount of turmoil surrounding the Floyd death and associated riots in the city.

After Floyd’s death, the city council tried to disband the department and institute a different model, however that effort didn’t make it onto the ballot last fall.

In March, the council approved an effort to get the idea on the ballot this coming fall. In response to Garland’s announcement of the DOJ probe, the city council said they welcomed it.

The police department continues to experience turmoil in the wake of Floyd’s death, with a significant number of officers resigning or retiring which has caused staffing shortages and with it a significant escalation in violent crime.

The new probe by the Justice Department isn’t a quick investigation, with some pattern-or-practice investigations taking years to complete.

They involve investigators from the DOJ doing ride-alongs with officers, talking to community groups and residents and digging through department reports and records prior to issuing a final report.

After the investigation is complete and results announced, the Justice Department then works alongside the local department in order to implement any recommended changes which is held in place by a legal settlement between the federal and local governments.

This in essence becomes a federal court order which is overseen by a monitor. If no such agreement is mutually reached, the federal government can sue the local jurisdiction to force compliance with reforms.

Under the 1994 crime bill, Congress gave the attorney general the authority to sue police departments over anything deemed to be unconstitutional conduct.

That bill was motivated in part by the 1991 beating of Rodney King by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. Studies conducted since the implementation of such investigations have been met with mixed results.

Under the Obama administration, some two-dozen such probes were undertaken, most famously one involving the Ferguson, Missouri police department where convenience store robber Michael Brown was shot and killed after attempting to disarm Off. Darren Wilson.

One can assume that given the anti-police rhetoric emanating from Biden, Harris and other Democrats, police departments across the country better get used to such federal investigations.

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Author: Jenna Curren


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