George Floyd died of “low oxygen,” says doctor at trial

An expert in pulmonology said this Thursday during the trial for the death of George Floyd that the victim died from lack of oxygen and that the knee of the police officer Derek Chauvin was in his neck for “more than 90% of the time” that he was handcuffed down on the street.

Pulmonologist Martin Tobin told the jury that he is still prosecuting former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murder and manslaughter, who had watched videos of Floyd’s arrest on May 25, 2020 “hundreds of times.”

“Floyd died of a low oxygen level,” he said. “This caused damage to his brain,” he added, and arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, which caused his “heart to stop,” Tobin told the jury of nine women and five men leading this highly anticipated case. in the Minneapolis courthouse.

Chauvin, 45, appears in the video filmed by a witness kneeling on the neck of the handcuffed Floyd for more than nine minutes, while the 46-year-old African-American repeatedly complained that he could not breathe.

The video of Floyd’s arrest sparked a wave of protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

According to Tobin, Floyd’s breathing became weak because he was face down on the street, handcuffed and with Chauvin and other officers on his neck and back.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, suggested several times during the trial that Chauvin’s body weight was actually on Floyd’s shoulder and sometimes on his back, but not on his neck.

The doctor did not agree, however, with that theory.

“Agent Chauvin’s knee is practically on the neck for the vast majority of the time,” he said, “more than 90% of the time.”

– Floyd’s health condition did not influence –

Irish-born Tobin testifies as an expert summoned by the Prosecution.

This Chicago-based doctor claimed that he had previously testified in medical malpractice lawsuits, but that this is the first criminal proceeding in which he intervenes and that he is not being paid for it.

Chauvin, who pleads not guilty, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, second-degree murder.

With 19 years of seniority in the Minneapolis Police Department, the already ex-agent was expelled from the agency after Floyd’s death.

Prosecutors seek to prove that the African-American’s death was due to suffocation, while Chauvin’s defense claims that it occurred as a result of the use of illegal drugs and the deceased’s previous health problems.

Tobin dismissed the defense’s claims that those previous conditions contributed to his death.

“A healthy person subjected to what Floyd was subjected to would have died as a result of what he was subjected to,” he said.

Forensic scientist Breahna Giles testified Wednesday that pills containing methamphetamine and fentanyl were found in both the victim’s car and the police car, some containing traces of saliva that matched Floyd’s DNA.

Several high-ranking Minneapolis police officers testified, on their side, that Chauvin’s use of force was excessive.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo claimed Monday that Chauvin violated the body’s training practices and “values.”

Floyd was arrested by Chauvin and his colleagues on suspicion of trying to pay with a fake $ 20 bill at a nearby store.

A paramedic told the jury last week that when the ambulance arrived, Floyd was already dead and the ex-officer was still kneeling on his neck.

Police officers are rarely convicted in the United States when charged, and any conviction on any of the charges against Chauvin will require a unanimous verdict by the jury.

Three other former officers implicated in the arrest will be tried separately later in the year.

With information from AFP