George Floyd’s police detention was more than he could “take” given his heart condition, a 46-year-old autopsy inspector general said Friday.
Dr. Andrew Baker Testified at Derek Chauvin’s murder trialA former police officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd for more than nine minutes during his arrest in Minneapolis last May.
Dr. Baker, who has been the Chief Inspector General of Hennepin County, Minnesota since 2004, said police officers’ pressure on Mr. Floyd’s neck and his physical restraint were the main causes of his death.
Dr. Baker was one of the most expected witnesses to run for a carefully watched trial.
His testimony puts a significant burden on the prosecution’s case that Chauvin killed Floyd when he fixed an unarmed, handcuffed black man to the ground until he could no longer beg for air. It was.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, suggested that fentanyl and methamphetamine found in Floyd’s system, as well as existing heart disease, could have caused his death.
But in his testimony on Friday, Dr. Baker said these factors contributed to Mr Floyd’s death, but not the cause.
Dr. Baker confirmed that Floyd has a severe underlying heart disease, a hypertrophied heart that requires more oxygen than normal to function, and a stenosis of two heart arteries. ..
However, he added that the stress and pain of being anchored on the ground would have caused him to produce adrenaline. It beats the heart faster and demands more oxygen.
“And in my opinion, law enforcement sub-dual, restraint, and neck pressure were more than Floyd could have taken thanks to it, their heart condition,” he said. ..
Other medical professionals, including world-renowned breathing specialists, have gone a step further, with Floyd cuffing his hands behind his back and pressing his face against the ground to restrain his stomach, eventually resulting in oxygen. Chauvin’s neck and back knees testify that he died from a shortage.
Images of bystanders shouting “I can’t breathe” when Floyd was anchored on the ground by white police officer Chauvin on May 25, last year, show systematic racism and atrocities in US police. Triggered a national reputation for.
Chauvin, 45, has been charged with two murders and manslaughter and three manslaughter charges.
Defense lawyer Nelson claims that the dismissed police officer had been trained in a 19-year career, highlighting the fentanyl and methamphetamines found in Floyd’s system and his underlying health problems. did.
Under cross-examination, Dr. Baker agreed with Nelson that Floyd’s heart disease and substance use “played a role” in his death.
Dr. Baker said the amount of fentanyl found in Floyd’s system would be “fatal” in other situations.
But he said the interpretation of fentanyl levels was very “contextual”.
Other medical experts, called prosecution witnesses, also said Floyd’s death was due to being anchored on the ground.
Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a now retired forensic pathologist who taught Dr. Baker, testified earlier on Friday that she agreed with his findings, but the “main mechanism of death” was choking or inadequate oxygen. It seemed to go further by saying that.
She said she came to that conclusion primarily from a video of a virus bystander showing that Floyd was having difficulty breathing.
“This is a death in which both the heart and lungs have failed. The point is due to law enforcement conspiracy, detention, and oppression,” said Dr. Thomas.
During the cross-examination, the defense asked Dr. Thomas why his heart suddenly stopped beating. Mr. Floyd’s larger heart needed more blood, worked hard at the moment of stress and adrenaline, and one of his arteries had 90 percent obstruction.
Dr. Thomas said that unless there is another cause, obstructions of more than 70% to 75% can be used to explain death. But she also said that some people can live well in completely occluded arteries.
For the first time in 10 days of testimony, a seat reserved for Mr. Chauvin’s family was occupied by a woman on Friday. She didn’t want to be identified when she was contacted by a reporter.
Chauvin’s marriage divorced months after Floyd’s death.
Also on Friday, Judge Peter Cayhill called a jury and asked her if she had any external influences. She told the judge that she had never discussed the case with anyone and was allowed to remain a jury.