A world-renowned breathing expert said during George Floyd’s murder trial that the 46-year-old died of “lack of oxygen”.
Dr Martin Tobin, lung and intensive care specialist Chicago, said in his testimony at the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek chauvin this Mr. FloydHis breathing was too shallow to absorb enough oxygen as he was pinned face down with his hands cuffed behind his back for about nine and a half minutes.
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He said he had looked at footage of the arrest “hundreds of times” to help draw a diagram of where the police were positioned in relation to Mr. Floyd when he was on the ground.
The diagram (seen at the top of this article) was presented to the jury and shows Chauvin’s left knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and his right on his arm and chest.
The evidence came just a day after a a use of force expert also said Chauvin had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck area – and the whole time he was stuck.
And on Thursday, the jury saw an image of the move.
In the photo, the tip of Chauvin’s boot does not touch the ground.
Dr Tobin said this meant that the ex-officer’s entire body weight was “directed downward on Mr Floyd’s neck” at this point in the arrest.
This was calculated at 91.5 pounds.
Chauvin, 45 years old is charged with second and third degree murder and manslaughter of Mr. Floyd, following his death on May 25 of last year.
Mr Floyd was arrested after being accused of attempting to use a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a neighborhood store in Minneapolis.
Dr Tobin told court on Thursday that the positioning of the handcuffs behind Mr Floyd’s back during his arrest, and the fact that he was face down on the street, was key evidence.
The handcuffs were driven high into Mr. Floyd’s back thanks to the officers’ actions, and he was effectively sandwiched between the street and the officers, putting his left side “in a vise,” the court said.
Dr Tobin said the effect on his left lung was fatal.
“Because of the knee that was pressed against the left side of his chest … mostly on the left side of his lung … it was almost … as if a surgeon had walked in and removed the [left] lung, ”he says.
“Not quite, but in that sense.”
Mr Floyd had “very few opportunities” to get oxygen into his lungs, Dr Tobin added.
The trial continues.
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