Al Sharpton says Derek Chauvin lynched George Floyd at pre-trial press conference

Sharpton criticized the defense for discussing “the stimulants that may have been in George Floyd.” 

Attorney Ben Crump, left, and Rev. Al Sharpton with George Floyd family members outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis. (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)

Civil rights activist and MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton is in town for the Derek Chauvin trial and accused the defendant of lynching George Floyd. 

Sharpton joined the Floyd family and their attorney, Ben Crump, for a press conference Monday morning ahead of opening statements in the trial. The popular race hustler described Chauvin’s actions as “lynching by knee.” 

“We are here to see the case of a man that used his knee to lynch a man and then blamed the man for the lynching,” Sharpton said. “First of all, what was George Floyd being even approached for by police that would warrant you using the force that you used?” 

Sharpton then criticized the defense for discussing “the stimulants that may have been in George Floyd.” 

“What would be the stimulant that would make a man hold his knee on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds?” he added. 

A toxicology screening found that Floyd’s blood demonstrated “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent methamphetamine use,” described as a speedball Monday by defense counsel Eric Nelson. 

“What kind of venom, what kind of hatred do you have that would make you keep pressing down that long while a man is begging for his life?” Sharpton continued. “Make no mistake about it: Chauvin is in the courtroom but America is on trial.” 

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