A veteran pulmonologist testified Thursday that George Floyd’s death was caused in part by Derek Chauvin’s knees pressed against his neck and back, making it impossible for him to breathe, and that Mr. Floyd was showing signs of brain damage about four minutes before Mr. Chauvin lifted his knee from his neck.
Dr Martin J. Tobin, a pulmonologist and intensive care physician in Chicago, told the court that the combination of pressuring Mr Chauvin, handcuffs pulling Mr Floyd’s hands behind his back and Mr Floyd’s body pressed against the street had caused him to die of “low oxygen”.
Dr. Tobin’s testimony on the ninth day of the trial of Mr. Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was charged with the murder of Mr. Floyd, signaled a move to a new phase in which medical testimony will be crucial. Mr Chauvin’s attorney hinted that Mr Floyd had died from the fentanyl and methamphetamine found in his system, but prosecutors contend Mr Chauvin killed him by kneeling on top of him for more than nine minutes and cutting off its air supply.
Dr Tobin has categorically claimed that Mr Chauvin’s actions caused Mr Floyd’s death on May 25. opened wide then closed. At that time, Mr. Chauvin’s knee remained on his neck.
“You can see his eyes – he’s conscious – and then you see he’s not,” Dr Tobin said. “This is the moment when life comes out of his body.”
The doctor also dismissed the defense arguments on the drugs, saying videos show Mr. Floyd was breathing at a normal rate before he became unconscious, meaning the fentanyl in his system “had no effect ”on his breathing.
“A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died,” said Dr Tobin.
After analyzing videos of the arrest, Dr Tobin said he determined that Mr Chauvin had rested his left knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than 90 percent of the time Mr Floyd was at ground and that he had kept his left knee. right knee on Mr. Floyd’s back most of the time as well. That pressure, combined with having her hands cuffed behind her back and pushed down the street face down, cut off the oxygen and caused her heart to stop, Dr Tobin said.
“He was crushed between the two sides,” he said.
Mr Floyd was so in need of air at one point that he attempted to lift himself off the ground by pushing his right knuckle against the tire of a police car, the doctor said.
Dr Tobin, who works in pulmonology and intensive care at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital and Loyola University School of Medicine, spoke to jurors for more than two hours. He said he asked not to be paid when prosecutors asked him if he would testify in the case. On several occasions he encouraged jurors to feel parts of their own necks to demonstrate what he was saying; most followed.
Dr Tobin said the factors which cut off Mr Floyd’s air supply led to what might be called “asphyxiation,” which he said is just another word for the disease. oxygen deprivation; a prosecutor told jurors at the start of the trial that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation.
At one point in a video of Mr. Floyd’s arrest, Dr. Tobin noted, Mr. Chauvin’s left foot appeared to rise from the ground, which the doctor said meant half the weight Mr. Chauvin’s body rested on Mr. Floyd’s neck.
After about 4 minutes and 51 seconds, Dr Tobin said, Mr Floyd stopped talking or moaning. After a little over 5 minutes, Mr. Floyd appeared to straighten his legs, which, according to Dr. Tobin, was a sign that Mr. Floyd was having some type of seizure because he had suffered a brain injury from the oxygen deprivation. He said Mr. Chauvin’s knee remained on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 3 minutes and 27 seconds after his last breath.
The doctor said the handcuffs were also an “extremely important” factor in Mr. Floyd’s death because Mr. Chauvin and another officer pushed his hands up and against his back, pressing his chest against the hard street. .
“When you are lying on your stomach and with your knee on your back, now the work Mr. Floyd has to do becomes enormous,” said Dr Tobin, adding, “He has to try to lift the officer’s knee up. every breath. . “