Minneapolis, USA, April 8, 2021 (AFP) – A pulmonologist said Thursday (8) during George Floyd’s death trial that the victim had died from lack of oxygen and that Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee remained on. His neck “for more than 90% of the time” when he was handcuffed on the street.
Pulmonologist Martin Tobin told the jury that he is following the case against former police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of murder and manslaughter, who has seen videos of Floyd’s arrest on May 25, 2020 “hundreds of times”.
“Floyd died from lack of oxygen,” he said. “This caused damage to his brain,” and an irregular heartbeat, causing his “heart to stop,” Tobin explained to the jury, nine women and five men, who are ruling the case in the Minneapolis state court. An American from Minnesota.
Chauvin, a 45-year-old white man, appears in the video recorded by a witness kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, while the 46-year-old African American complained repeatedly about his inability to breathe. Photography has traveled the world and sparked a wave of protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
According to Tobin, Floyd’s breathing was impaired because he was facing down the street, handcuffed, and Chauvin and other policemen 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.
But the doctor disagreed with this theory. “A client’s knee is practically seen in his neck most of the time,” he said, “more than 90% of the time.”
– Floyd’s health condition did not affect this – Tobin, born in Ireland and residing in Chicago, USA, testified as an expert summoned by the prosecution. The doctor said that he had already testified in lawsuits related to medical malpractice, but that this was his first criminal case and that he was not paid for it.
Chauvin, who pleads not guilty, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge of second-degree intentional homicide. With 19 years working in the Minneapolis Police Department, the former agent is now fired after Floyd’s death.
Prosecutors are seeking to prove that the death of the African American was caused by suffocation, while Chauvin’s defense claims the causes were the use of illegal drugs and past health problems of the deceased.
Tobin rejected the defense’s arguments that previous circumstances had contributed to the death. He said, “A healthy person who was subjected to what happened to Floyd would have died as a result of what he was exposed to.”
Forensic scientist Brianna Giles, in her testimony on Wednesday, said that pills containing methamphetamine and fentanyl were found in both the victim’s and police car, and some had traces of saliva that matched Floyd’s DNA.
Forensic pathologist William Smock testified that photos of Floyd’s death show his voice weakening as he runs out of oxygen. Your Highness said: “He speaks, he does not snore.”
He says, “Please get away from me.” I want to breathe. I can not breathe. This is not a fentanyl overdose. He is a person begging to breathe. “
Toxicologist Daniel Eisenschmid also indicated to the court that Floyd had relatively low levels of fentanyl in his blood, challenging the defense arguments about an overdose.
Excessive use of force – Several senior Minneapolis police officers, in turn, testified that Chauvin had used excessive force. On Monday, the president of the foundation, Medaria Arradundu, announced that Chauvin had violated their training practices and “their values”.
Floyd is arrested on suspicion of trying to pay for a purchase from a nearby store with a $ 20 counterfeit coin. A paramedic told the jury last week that when the ambulance arrived, Floyd was already dead and the former policeman was still kneeling on his neck.
Police officers are rarely found guilty in the United States when they are charged, and any ruling on any of the charges against Chauvin will require a unanimous verdict on the part of the jury.
Three other former police officers involved in the arrest will be tried separately until the end of the year.
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