James Reyerson, senior special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, testified today that he could hear George Floyd saying he “ate too many drugs” in a video of the May 25, 2020 incident, but later acknowledged in redirect that Floyd could have said something different.
Reyerson was shown video of the incident and asked by defense attorney Eric Nelson, “Did it appear that Mr. Floyd said, ‘I ate too many drugs?'”
“Yes, it did,” Reyerson said during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin.
During redirect questioning, prosecuting attorney Matthew Frank asked Reyerson if he ever tried to listen to this piece of audio and figure out what Floyd was saying.
“I did not, no,” Reyerson said.
“That was an exercise Mr. Nelson asked you to do for the first time sitting there,” Frank followed up. “Yes, sir,” he responded.
After a short break, Reyerson was recalled to the stand by the prosecution and played him a longer video that included the same audio. Frank asked him again if he was able to tell what Floyd was saying.
“Yes, I believe Mr. Floyd is saying, ‘I ain’t doing no drugs,'” Reyerson said, contradicting his earlier answer.
Frank followed up, “That’s a little different than what you are asked about when you’re only saw a portion of the video, correct?”
“Yes, sir,” Reyerson said.
Some more context: Earlier today, while cross-examining use-of-force expert LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger, Nelson showed similar body camera video of the Floyd incident.
Nelson asked Stiger if he could interpret what Floyd was saying at that time, saying, “Does it sound like he says ‘I ate too many drugs’?” Stiger said he could not make out what Floyd was saying.
This post has been updated with new testimony from BCA special agent James Reyerson to prosecutors about Floyd’s remarks in a May 25, 2020 video.