Lawyer for George Floyd's arresting officer claims it's 'questionable' that knee was on Floyd's neck

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Earl Gray, the lawyer for Thomas Lane, one of the former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd, joined Chris Cuomo on CNN Monday night and made some surprising claims about the events surrounding Floyd’s death. In particular, Gray questioned whether the knee of ex-officer Derek Chauvin was actually on Floyd’s neck as he laid on the ground with two other officers, including Lane, on top of him. Gray claims it’s questionable, despite video clearly showing Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

“Once they got control of him, where my client was on the feet of Mr. Floyd,” Gray said, “and Officer King was in the middle, on his waist, and Chauvin was on his shoulder or neck…” “Neck,” Cuomo interjected. “Well, that’s questionable, by the way,” Gray replied.

In making his case, Gray pointed to the findings of one autopsy while ignoring the findings of another. The report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office stated that Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” The medical examiner’s preliminary report, which Gray cited to Cuomo, “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

A separate autopsy by independent pathologists commissioned by Floyd’s family, concluded Floyd’s death was a “homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to lack of blood flow to the brain.”

“It’s questionable because look at the autopsy,” Gray said. “There’s not any injury to this man’s hyoid bone or larynx.” “But also, just to be clear, it’s not what the autopsy that the family did showed,” Cuomo replied. “And the knee is clearly on his neck.”

Gray said that on two occasions, Lane, who had only been on the force for four days, questioned if they should move Floyd, but he was overruled by Chauvin, a veteran of the force. When pressed on why Lane didn’t physically help Floyd, Gray suggested that the bystanders, who were yelling at Chauvin to take his knee off of Floyd’s neck, and one of whom said the officers “wanted to kill” Floyd, could have stepped in and stopped it themselves.

“If all these people say why didn’t my client intercede,” Gray said, “well, if the public is there and they’re so in an uproar about this, they didn’t intercede either.”

Cuomo was incredulous. “The idea that the civilians should have rushed in to a policing situation in the inner city of Minneapolis against four police officers that have weapons and are kneeling on the neck of a man,” Cuomo said, “don’t you think that’s asking a little much of civilians and a little too little of your client?” “Absolutely,” Gray said. “I just brought that up.” Cuomo replied, “Yeah, I know.”

Throughout the interview, Gray was insistent that footage from Lane’s body cam, which is not yet available to the public, proves that Floyd was resisting arrest and that his client attempted to help Floyd.

Cuomo Prime Time airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on CNN.

Watch this witness at George Floyd’s arrest say the police officers ‘wanted to kill that man’:

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