The defense for former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao is accusing the state of coercing the coroner into an autopsy report favorable to the prosecution in the death of George Floyd.
Law and Order reports the defense charges that a fellow pathologist threatened to write a negative article about Chief Medical Examiner Andrew Baker unless he concluded that Floyd died at least in part from “neck compression.”
“The State did nothing in response to this coercion,” wrote Thao’s attorneys, Robert and Natalie Paule, according to the Star Tribune. “Instead, the State knowingly allowed Dr. Baker to take the stand in State v. Chauvin and testified to coerced statements.”
The accusations against former Washington, D.C., medical examiner, Dr. Roger Mitchell are outlined in a motion filed on behalf of Thao. The motion alleges prosecutors were aware of the coercion.
The motion alleges the state attorney general’s office, along with the county attorney, met with Mitchell and failed to share a memo about that meeting, along with related undisclosed materials.
“These materials negate the guilt of Mr. Thao because they show that the only Medical Examiner who performed Mr. Floyd’s autopsy and determined his cause of death was coerced into changing his findings,” said the motion, the Star Tribune reports.
According to Law and Crime, the motion also quotes Baker as saying he didn’t think neck compressions had anything to do with Floyd’s death.
This week, the court delayed the state trial for Floyd, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane until March 7, 2022, CNN reported. It had originally been set for August, but has been postponed to allow the civil rights trial to go first. ABC reports the three are set to be arraigned on July 14.
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