I second Scott’s recommendation to watch this reconstruction of the murder of George Floyd. Watching it raised some questions in my mind:
(1) Did Floyd in fact pass a counterfeit bill, and if he did, did he do so knowingly, which is necessary for doing so to be a crime?
It’s striking that Floyd and his companions didn’t drive away for several minutes after the store owner demanded that he return the purchased cigarettes. If Floyd knew he had tried to pass a bad bill and had got caught, why would he hang around? (Of course all this should be totally irrelevant to the cops’ criminal liability, but the point is there may well not even have been any crime at all on Floyd’s part, even the extremely minor one of which he was accused).
(2) Why did Chauvin pull Floyd out of the back seat of the cruiser? Note that on the video you can clearly see that the cops got Floyd completely into the back seat of the car, and then Chauvin pulls him out on the passenger side.
(3) Why are the cops pinning him down on the sidewalk after Chauvin pulls him out of the cruiser? When I first read about this case I assumed it was because they couldn’t get him in the car and they were calling for a wagon or something, but Floyd was cuffed and in the back seat. So why then pull him out and pin him down on the sidewalk? My guess will be some bullshit about “excited delirium” making him too “dangerous” to transport in the cruiser, but again, not only is he cuffed — there’s no evidence of him thrashing about or anything like that in the video footage.
(3) As Scott mentioned, one of the cops is mocking Floyd when Chauvin is suffocating him, telling him to get up and get in the car, even though he’s totally pinned down by three men while handcuffed. These guys are obviously sadists, while Chauvin himself comes off as a total psychopath — somebody who is at best utterly indifferent to the fact that he’s killing a man for “resisting arrest” — which Floyd barely did in any case, but who is more likely actively hoping to kill his victim.
(4) The criminal complaint was clearly drafted by somebody who didn’t want to charge Chauvin at all. There’s a bunch of wholly extraneous crap in there about Floyd being a big scary black man who was non-cooperative. (All of this, even if true, is completely irrelevant to the fact that a totally helpless victim was suffocated to death by cops who were again at best indifferent to the fact they were killing him)
(5) Note that the claim that the preliminary version of the official autopsy found no evidence of death by asphyxiation is not from that document itself — which isn’t yet public, and which isn’t even a final version in any case — but is drawn from the characterization of that document in the criminal complaint, which again is written up to try to minimize Chauvin’s culpability. This could end up being similar to Bill Barr’s “characterization” of the Mueller report. (ETA: See below)
In any case, the autopsy conducted at the behest of the Floyd family, which found that Floyd was asphyxiated, can be entered into evidence by the state, assuming the prosecution is interested in securing a conviction in this case.
ETA: And bingo: The Hennepin County Medical Examiner report gives “neck compression” as one of the causes of George Floyd’s fatal cardiac arrest.