MINNEAPOLIS – One of the most prominent witnesses in the murder trial of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin is scheduled to speak on Friday, prosecutors said, ending a week of highly technical legal and medical testimony.
Last year, Dr Andrew Baker, the chief medical examiner for Hennepin County, declared George Floyd’s death a homicide. He said Floyd’s heart and lungs came to a halt amid “subdual law enforcement, neck restraint and compression.”
A family-ordered autopsy released around the same time revealed that Floyd’s death was a homicide caused by “sustained pressure asphyxiation.”
Baker’s testimony will be critical for prosecutors, who say Floyd was killed by Chauvin’s knee to the neck for more than nine minutes. The defense contends that Floyd died as a result of the drugs in his system and underlying medical issues.
Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
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- The court was scheduled to resume Friday at 9:15 a.m. (Paris time).
- So far, jurors have heard from 33 witnesses – all cited by the prosecution.
- A medical expert in breathing physiology said Thursday the way Floyd was restrained – handcuffed behind his back, face down, knee on his neck – prevented him from breathing properly and caused his death. Another, a police surgeon, said Floyd did not overdose or have a heart attack.
- A forensic toxicologist who analyzed George Floyd’s blood and urine told jurors Thursday that the amount of methamphetamine in Floyd’s system was within a prescribed dose – a “very low” amount.
Doctor who testified for prosecution said ‘what Mr. Floyd was subjected to’ would kill healthy person
Dr Martin Tobin, a doctor who has worked in respiratory physiology for 40 years, testified Thursday that Floyd died from “low oxygen levels,” which caused damage to his brain and an abnormal heartbeat. Tobin was called as an expert witness by prosecutors and reviewed the tapes and video from the Floyd case, but did not conduct an examination of Floyd’s body.
Tobin said he watched videos of Floyd’s arrests “hundreds of times” and discovered that Chauvin’s left knee was on Floyd’s neck most of the time. The fact that Floyd was handcuffed behind his back, the handling of the handcuffs by officers and the sidewalk under Floyd combined to interfere with Floyd’s ability to breathe, Tobin testified.
The overall effect of the restraint was almost “as if a surgeon had come in and removed the lung,” he said, referring to Floyd’s left lung. “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died as a result of what he was subjected to,” Tobin said. Learn more about his testimony here.