Pulmonologist Martin Tobin told the jury that the African-American man’s breathing weakened because he was face down on the street, handcuffed, and with police officer Derek Chauvin and other officers on his neck and back.
The pulmonologist and intensive care expert Martin Tobin said Thursday that George Floyd died of “low oxygen level” when former police officer Derek Chauvin immobilized him and restricted his ability to breathe and assured him that the drug use by the deceased was not relevant in death.
The expert’s statements centered on the ninth day of the trial against Chauvin for the African-American Floyd’s death, which is being held at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, where the events took place.
Tobin thus supported the statements of the Prosecutor’s Office, which maintains that the victim died when the former agent detained him, and rejected the defense’s argument, which tries to link the death with fentanyl and methamphetamine that was found in Floyd’s body, reported The New York Times.
“A healthy person subjected to what Floyd was subjected to would have died,” said the doctor, who discussed in detail and with images the arrest of the deceased, even going so far as to identify the moment when “life leaves his body.”
Thus, he pointed to four main reasons why Floyd died, Chauvin’s left knee on his neck, his prone position, the former agent’s right knee on his back, arm and his side, and the pressure of the handcuffs.
The combination of all this limited Floyd’s ability to breathe, who, according to the doctor, died from the pressure exerted by Chauvin.
The expert also pointed to the deceased’s attempts to try to breathe due to his lack of oxygen due to the pressure of Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd for three more minutes after he lost oxygen from his body, CNN reported.
On the other hand, Tobin ruled out drug use as one of the causes of death and insisted that Floyd seemed to be breathing “at a normal rate” before losing consciousness, since, in his opinion, if he had been experiencing an overdose, his respiratory rate would have slowed down.
Louisville Metropolitan Police Department surgeon Bill Smock also testified Thursday, reiterating that Floyd “died of positional asphyxia, which is a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen left in his body. “
Smock has also stressed that the deceased was alert during the event, indicating that he was not suffering an overdose.
On the other hand, forensic toxicologist Daniel Isenschmid shared with the jury data on fentanyl and methamphetamine. These two substances were found in Floyd’s system after his death.
Isenshmid reported that 11 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl and 19 nanograms per milliliter of methamphetamine were found in Floyd’s body.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American citizen, died on May 25, 2020, after complaining that he could not breathe due to having Chauvin’s knee on his neck, a sequence that was recorded on video. The police response originated because Floyd made a payment with a counterfeit $ 20 bill.
Chauvin was immediately removed from the police force and released on bail after being charged with murder and abuse.
Three other agents face charges of complicity in committing the alleged crime. All of them will be tried in August.
The event sparked a wave of protests against police violence and racism across the United States in 2020.