The third week of testimony in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin began on Monday, with prosecutors continuing to call witnesses who they say will strengthen their argument that Mr. Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by ditching him on the ground for more than nine minutes.
The defense was able to cross-examine them, but must wait to start making their case – that Mr. Floyd died of underlying health issues and drug use – by calling their own witnesses. This process will be followed by closing arguments on both sides and deliberation by the jury.
Here are some key moments as the trial entered its 11th day.
George Floyd’s death “was absolutely preventable,” said a cardiologist.
Dr Jonathan Rich, a cardiologist called to testify in the trial, said Monday that Mr Floyd’s heart was not the main cause of his death. He also ruled out a drug overdose.
“Mr. George Floyd died of cardiopulmonary arrest,” said Dr. Rich. “This was due to low levels of oxygen” induced by the position to which “he was subjected”.
It was an observation that Dr. Rich repeated: that the way the police restrained Mr. Floyd led to his asphyxiation. “He was trying to get enough oxygen and because of the position he was in, so the heart didn’t have enough oxygen,” he said.
Dr Rich said part of his clinical work was looking at the evidence to determine why the patients died. Called in by the state to help determine how Mr. Floyd died, he described his testimony as a “significant contribution.”
He said after reviewing the medical records, autopsy and video footage of Mr. Floyd’s arrest, he determined that Mr. Floyd’s heart was not the primary cause of his death.
Dr Rich said he considered two other potential causes, including a primary cardiac event and possibly drug overdose. But he said, “I can state with a high degree of medical certainty” that Mr. Floyd “did not die of a primary heart attack and did not die of a drug overdose.”
After reviewing a toxicology report, he said Mr Floyd’s methamphetamine levels were low and he saw no signs that a drug overdose caused his death.
And after watching the video of Mr Floyd’s arrest, Dr Rich said he determined that Mr Floyd had been immobilized in a life-threatening way and that there was no evidence of sudden cardiac death.
He said he believed Mr Floyd would have survived had he been treated multiple times on the video.
He said he noticed that an officer said at some point during the arrest that he believed Mr. Floyd was passing out. “It would have been an opportunity to quickly relieve him of this position of not having enough oxygen,” said Dr Rich.
He also noted that a police officer suggested that Mr. Floyd be turned on his side, but that he was told to “leave him”. When officers learned that Mr. Floyd had no pulse, their immediate response should have been to administer chest compressions, he said.
“I believe the death of Mr. George Floyd was absolutely preventable,” said Dr. Rich.
He said Mr. Floyd’s medical records did not show any previous complaints or evidence of abnormal rhythms and palpitations and added that Mr. Floyd had an “unusually strong heart”.
When asked if he saw any signs that Mr. Floyd had had a heart attack, Dr. Rich replied, “None, at all.”
In cross-examination, Mr. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric J. Nelson, asked Dr. Rich if a combination of factors, including previous drug use, narrowing of the arteries, high blood pressure, and the struggle with agents, could have resulted in Mr. Floyd’s illness. dead even without being restrained in a supine position.
“I couldn’t find any supporting evidence,” Dr. Rich replied.
Mr. Nelson also asked Dr. Rich if Mr. Floyd would have survived if he had simply sat in the back seat of the patrol car.
If he hadn’t been held back as he was, Dr Rich replied, “I think he would have survived that day.”
The judge denied a defense motion to sequester the jury after a police shootout in suburban Minneapolis.
The defense demand follows the death of a 20-year-old black man who was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis at the Brooklyn Center on Sunday night, sending hundreds of protesters into the streets.
Mr Nelson, the defense attorney, had argued that jurors should be ordered to avoid all media and to spend the remainder of the trial in receivership as he feared further unrest in the area where the shooting had taken place. held do not restrict their ability to become fair jurors. The judge denied this and said the situation in the area, the Brooklyn Center, was different because the unrest was not due to a jury verdict, but in response to a separate police shooting.
The unrest will be “at the forefront of the jury’s state of mind,” Nelson said. “A verdict in this case will have consequences. They’ve been exposed to this before. The jury should be sequestered. “
Mr Nelson asked the court for two things: complete forcible confinement of the jury and re-question each juror on what they know of the protests and the police shooting on Sunday night. Justice Cahill denied both. “It’s a totally different case,” he said.
The protests at the Brooklyn Center came hours before the start of the third week of Mr. Chauvin’s trial.
Here are some of the main statements witnesses made during the trial.
Dr Andrew Baker,
Hennepin County Medical Examiner
“What that adrenaline will do is make your heart beat faster. It will ask your body for more oxygen so that you can get through this altercation.
Dr Lindsey Thomas,
“There is no evidence to suggest he died that night, except for interactions with law enforcement.”
Dr Martin J. Tobin,
pulmonologist and intensive care physician
“You can see his eyes – he’s conscious – and then you see he’s not. This is the moment when life comes out of his body.
Dr Bill Smock,
Louisville Metropolitan Police Surgeon
“It’s not an overdose of fentanyl. It is someone who begs to breathe.
Former Sgt. David Pleoger,
recently retired from the Minneapolis Police Department
“When Mr. Floyd no longer offered any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint.”
Sgt. Jody Stiger,
Los Angeles Police Department Inspector General’s Office
“He was lying on his stomach, he was handcuffed, he wasn’t trying to resist, he wasn’t trying to assault the police – kicking, punching or anything of that nature.
Chief Medaria Arradondo,
Minneapolis Police Department
“Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and tried to verbalize it, it should have stopped.”
paramedic who treated Mr. Floyd
“He’s a human being and I was trying to give him a second chance at life.”
Minneapolis Police Department Medical Support Coordinator
“If you had a very hostile or unstable crowd – that sounds unreasonable – but spectators sometimes attack EMS crews.”
Mr. Floyd’s Girlfriend
“When you know someone who is suffering from any type of addiction, you can start to see changes when they use them again.”
Cup Foods cashier who took a $ 20 bill from Mr. Floyd
“I was standing there on the sidewalk, and I was like, ‘They’re not going to help him. This is what we have to face. ”
firefighter on leave at the scene of Mr. Floyd’s arrest
“I could have provided medical care to the best of my ability, and this human was denied that right.”
teenager who filmed Mr. Floyd’s arrest