George Floyd was killed due to lack of oxygen, but the drug was not killed

Minneapolis (AP) — George Floyd A medical expert testified as a former officer and died of lack of oxygen after being kneeled around his neck and secured to the pavement. Derek Chauvin A murder trial that emphasized and rejected the defense theory that Floyd’s substance use and underlying health problems killed him.

The prosecution testified Thursday by Edward Hines Junior VA Hospital and Dr. Martin Tobin, a lung and critical care specialist at Loyola University School of Medicine in Illinois.

He explained the concept of medicine in plain language, loosened his tie and explained the point, and said that Floyd’s breathing was severely restricted while Chauvin and two other Minneapolis police officers were holding down a 46-year-old black man. In May of last year, when he told the jury, his hand was folded behind him and his face hit the ground.

According to witnesses, lack of oxygen caused brain damage and stopped the heart.

Tobin, Analyze images of three officers detaining Floyd What the prosecutor said Almost 9 and a half minutesChauvin’s knee testified that he was “virtually necked” for more than 90% of the time.

He said several other factors also made Floyd’s breathing difficult: a policeman lifting the suspect’s handcuffs, tight pavement, prone position, head-to-head, and knee-to-back.

Chauvin kept his knees on Floyd’s neck for three minutes and two seconds after Floyd died, Tobin said. After that last breath, Floyd’s oxygen levels dropped to zero, and Floyd “reached a point where there was no 1 ounce of oxygen left in his body,” he said.

When the prosecutor repeatedly played Floyd’s video clip on the ground, Tobin pointed out exactly what he said was a change in the face of the man who told him that Floyd was dead. That moment happened about five minutes after police began suppressing Floyd.

“At first you can see that he is conscious. There is a slight flicker, but then it disappears,” says Tobin. He explained: “It’s the moment when life disappears from his body.”

Chauvin, 45, was charged with murder and manslaughter at Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd was arrested outside a nearby market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $ 20 bill.Video of Floyd’s bystander screaming he couldn’t breathe because a spectator yelled at a white police officer to get him off Sparkling protests and scattered violence All over the United States

Tobin also testified that just because Floyd was speaking and could be seen moving in the video did not mean he was breathing well. He said that the leg movements seen in the footage were a reluctant sign of fatal brain injury, and one could continue talking until the airways narrowed to 15%, after which “you have a serious problem. I have. “

Officers can hear in a video telling Floyd: If he can speak, he can breathe..

During the interrogation, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson pressured Tobin on that common misconception, pointing out earlier testimony that Minneapolis police officers were trained to breathe if people could speak. did.

Nelson did what Chauvin was trained in, and Floyd’s death Illegal drug Fundamental medical problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Autopsy found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.

Analyzing Floyd’s breathing seen in body camera videos, Tobin explained that fentanyl reduced normal respiratory rate by 40%, but Floyd’s breathing was “almost normal” just before unconsciousness.

Tobin also said that the high blood levels of carbon dioxide measured in the emergency room showed that Floyd had 10 minutes before rescue personnel started ventilation, in contrast to fentanyl suppressing breathing. He said he could explain it by not breathing nearby.

Another prosecution witness, suffocation expert Dr. Bill Smock, supported Tobin’s assessment. Smock said Floyd had no symptoms of fentanyl overdose, such as diminished pupils or decreased breathing. He said Floyd’s actions were the opposite because he wanted air.

“It’s not an overdose of fentanyl. Smock, a police surgeon and former emergency room doctor in Louisville, Kentucky, said: Floyd died of positional choking, or lack of oxygen due to position. Said.

During the interrogation, Nelson asked Smock about his history of Floyd’s heart disease and agreed with Smock that fighting police could stress the heart and shortness of breath could be a sign of a heart attack. It was.

However, when the prosecution asked again, Smock said there was no evidence that Floyd died suddenly from a heart attack or arrhythmia, and his death was due to pressure on his back, which gradually oxygenated over several minutes. He said it was caused by a decrease. “

Also on Thursday, a forensic addict said he had found “very small amounts” of methamphetamine by examining blood from Floyd and urine from autopsy at the hospital. Daniel Isenschmidt said that fentanyl and its degradation by-products are also in the Floyd system.

Isenschmid estimates that fentanyl levels in Floyd’s blood are 11 nanograms per milliliter. As a prospect, he said, in tests of more than 2,000 people arrested for driving under the influence of fentanyl, the average concentration was 9.59, with dozens at higher levels than Floyd and survived.

In a cross-examination, Nelson suggested that there was no way to know how much fentanyl floyd was ingested, and Isenschmidt agreed. Attorneys also said it was impossible to know the concentration of fentanyl in street drugs: “Every pill you take will be a unique experience for that person, right?” Isenschmid agrees. did.

When Tobin turned on his stand, he used simple words to explain that narrowing the airways made breathing much more difficult, such as “breathing with a straw.”

At some point, the doctor loosened his tie, placed his hands on his neck and back of his head to show how the airways worked, and advised the jury to examine his neck. Most of them did, but the judge later told them they didn’t have to.

Experts calculated that when Chauvin was in a nearly vertical position with his toes off the ground, half of Chauvin’s weight, including gear, or 91.5 pounds (41.5 kilograms), rested directly on Floyd’s neck. did.

He was still talking, so Floyd said he seemed to get enough oxygen to keep his brain alive for the first about five minutes. Tobin said the place where Chauvin had his knees after the five-minute mark was less important. At that point, Floyd had already suffered a brain injury.

Chauvin’s lawyer repeatedly showed a still image of the jury from a video he said he painted Chauvin’s knees on Floyd’s scapula instead of his neck. However, according to the time stamp, almost all of these images were captured after 5 minutes.


Find AP’s full coverage of George Floyd’s death below:


Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan.