Matt Gaetz appearance, Chauvin trial, Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’: 5 things to know Friday

Key medical expert witness expected to testify at Chauvin trial

Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker is expected to take the stand Friday, as Week 2 in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin comes to a close. Baker ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide in his 2020 autopsy. He said Floyd’s heart and lungs stopped amid “law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” Here is some of what happened in Chauvin’s trial on Thursday:

  • Dr. Bill Smock, a police surgeon with a specialty in forensics, testified that he concluded George Floyddied of positional asphyxia, “which is a fancy way of saying he had no oxygen in his body.” Smock also ruled out a Fentanyl overdose as a potential cause of death.
  • Daniel Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist who analyzed Floyd’s blood and urine, told jurors the amount of meth in Floyd’s system was consistent with a prescribed dose – a “very low” amount.
  • Expert witness Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department told jurors Chauvin used “deadly” force on Floyd and kept his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. 

  • Will Chauvin take the stand in his murder trial in George Floyd’s death? Your questions, answered 
  • Expert witness:Doctor testifies that Floyd suffocated because officers restrained him facedown and handcuffed
  • Opinion piece on the Chauvin trial:Blue wall of silence crumbling. Police chief, others, bring landmark moment

Dr. Martin Tobin and Dr. Bill Smock testified in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in George Floyd's death.


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Embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz to speak at Trump resort

Rep. Matt Gaetz will be at Trump National Doral Miami on Friday as a featured speaker at a summit put together by the same group that organized the now infamous Jan. 6 “Save America” rally that ended with the storming of the U.S. Capitol. The Republican congressman form Florida is under investigation over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and that he paid for sex with other women. His scheduled appearance Friday is believed to be the first time he’ll speak before a live audience since news of the probe became public. Prosecutors and a defense attorney told a judge in federal court Thursday they are working on a plea deal with Joel Greenberg, the ex-Seminole County tax collector who is an associate of Gaetz. Speaking to the media after the hearing, Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, was asked if Gaetz should be concerned about what happened in court. “I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Scheller said.

  • Gaetz sought blanket pardons from President Trump, reports say: Trump denies a request ever happened
  • ‘Gaetzgate’ scandalgets more bizarre: Here’s what we know
  • Rep. Gaetz says he is ‘absolutely not resigning’ in new op-ed

Matt Gaetz is a representative for Florida's first congressional district.

Pensacola News Journal

Amazon union vote to continue Friday, but organizers already feel deflated

Amazon is heading into the final stretch of a union push in Bessemer, Alabama, with a sizeable lead over labor organizers. With nearly half the ballots counted Thursday night, 1,100 warehouse workers had rejected the union while 463 voted in favor of it. The count will resume Friday morning where agents for the National Labor Relations Board are counting each vote by hand. The side that secures the most votes will be declared the winner. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is organizing the Bessemer workers, said 3,215 votes were sent in — about 55% of the nearly 6,000 workers who were eligible to vote. The vote has garnered national attention, with professional athletes, Hollywood stars and even President Joe Biden weighing in on the side of the union. But Bessemer was always seen as a long shot since it pitted the country’s second-largest employer against warehouse workers in a state where laws don’t favor unions.

  • Opinion from Sen. Marco Rubio:Amazon should face unionization drive without Republican support
  • Could an Amazon union form in Iowa? The Teamsters say they’re organizing employees
  • ‘A long-standing, industry-wide issue’:Amazon apologizes for denying that drivers pee in bottles

Amazon is facing the biggest unionization push in nearly a decade. And it’s happening in the unlikeliest of places: Alabama, a state with laws that doesn’t favor unions. (Feb. 12)

AP Domestic

Taylor Swift’s rerecorded version of album ‘Fearless’ released

Taylor Swift’s first re-recorded album is here. The singer-songwriter on Friday dropped “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” a newly-recorded version of her second studio album, originally released when she was 19. This one includes a total of 27 songs, including six previously unheard tracks from the “vault.” “Everyone will be able to hear not only the songs that made the album, but the songs that almost made it – the full picture,” Swift wrote in a February announcement. Swift had vowed to re-record her first five studio albums following a public battle with music exec Scooter Braun, whose purchase of her masters she said was her “worst case scenario.” 

  • Taylor Swift makes Grammys history with ‘Folklore’ win, becoming first woman in three-peat club
  • ‘Once again, Taylor Swift saved 2020’: Surprise album ‘Evermore’ praised by fans

A Taylor Swift and Maren Morris collaboration plus Lil Nas X and Evanescence's first new LP in almost a decade highlight new music out this weekend.


Disneyland reservation calendar opens up

Ahead of its reopening on April 30, guests will be able to view a calendar on the Disneyland Parks site showing available reservation dates on Friday. Later, on April 12 after 8 a.m. PT, the reservation system will launch for people who had purchased tickets for Disneyland visits prior to the pandemic shutdown. Finally, on April 15, tickets and reservations will be open to other California residents after 8 a.m. PT, in Disneyland’s first reopening after more than a year of being shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic and California’s stringent reopening rules.

  • Disneyland’s latest Marvel: Avengers Campus set to open June 4 at Disney California Adventure Park
  • What we know about ‘DisneylandForward’: Disney starting plans for possible new development
  • Disney World has begun relaxing mask restrictions for outdoor photos: The policy changed April 8

Body camera footage shows a Walt Disney World guest being arrested after refusing a temperature check at a restaurant.


Contributing: The Associated Press

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