George Floyd news – live: Second expert says George Floyd died because he couldn’t breatheavril 8, 2021
Watch live as Derek Chauvin murder trial continues
Several senior members of the Minneapolis police force have testified against Mr Chauvin this week in a damning indictment of the former officer’s actions, with police chief Medaria Arradondo telling the court on Monday that officer Chauvin should not have put his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck.
On Tuesday, Jody Stiger, a use of force expert from the Los Angeles Police Department, agreed, stating in testimony: “My opinion was that the force was excessive.”
Returning to court on Wednesday, Mr Stiger claimed that once Mr Floyd was on his stomach and in handcuffs, Mr Chauvin and other police officers should’ve used “no force.”
Mr Stiger said that Minneapolis police continued using “deadly” force on Mr Floyd last May for more than nine minutes, failing to meet the constitutional “objective reasonableness” standard that police must follow when interacting with suspects.
“My opinion was that no force should’ve been used once he was in that position,” Mr Stiger said on Wednesday morning.
“He was in the prone position. He was handcuffed. He was not attempting to evade. He was not attempting to resist. And the pressure that was being caused by the body weight could cause positional asphyxia, which could cause death,” he added.
The jury is set to reconvene at 9:15am CT (3:15 UK) on Thursday, as the prosecution is expected to call several more witnesses to testify.
Check out The Independent’s live updates and analysis below.
George Floyd died ‘because he had no oxygen in his body,’ second forensic medical expert says
George Floyd died because he couldn’t get enough air to breathe, a second expert witness testified in the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Thursday.
“Mr Floyd died of positional asphyxia, which is a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen in his body,” said Dr Bill smock, a forensic medical specialist and police training doctor called to testify by the state. “When the body is deprived of oxygen, in this case from pressure on his chest and back, he gradually succumbed to lower and lower levels of oxygen until it was gone and he died.”
Earlier in the day, Dr Martin Tobin, a lung specialist, reached a similar conclusion on the stand.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 22:28
And now another witness for the prosecution: Dr. Bill Smock
Next up on the witness stand is Dr. Bill Smock, a forensic medical specialist, the latest expert witness called up by the state.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 22:03
Forensic toxicologist says George Floyd evidence may not point to fentanyl overdose
Even though there were opioids in George Floyd’s body at the time of his death, that doesn’t mean he overdosed, Dr. Daniel Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist who analyzed the evidence, testified on Thursday.
The defence has argued an OD caused Mr Floyd’s death, not Mr Chauvin’s knee.
Samples of blood and urine from the scene of the arrest showed Mr Floyd had both fentanyl in his body, a powerful opioid, and norfentanyl, the chemical product that results from the body breaking it down. In swift overdose cases, the toxicologist explained, that chemical byproduct doesn’t always appear since the body is still processing the original drug.
“After a very acute intoxication, the body doesn’t have time to break it down,” he said.
Still, Mr Isenschmid said this wasn’t conclusive in any direction. George Floyd could’ve had the norfentanyl in his body from a previous occasion, then taken more fentanyl on top of that.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 21:40
Watch: Fentanyl wasn’t what slowed George Floyd’s breathing, lung expert says
Speaking of drugs, here’s what lung expert Dr Martin Tobin said about whether fentanyl killed George Floyd.
Fentanyl wasn’t what slowed George Floyd’s breathing, lung expert says
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 21:09
State argues Floyd had low level of drugs in body compared even to others who lived
After much toxicological jargon, we’ve arrived at the point.
The state is arguing, with the help of their witness Dr. Daniel Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist, that even though evidence showed George Floyd was found to have fentanyl and meth in his body at the time of his death, it wasn’t in high amounts, compared to cases even where others stayed alive afterward.
Mr Floyd’s level of meth in his body was in the bottom 5.9 percent of people in DUI cases, Mr Isenschmid explained, and had a ratio of fentanyl in his body well below the ratio normally found in both post-mortem and DUI cases involving the drug.
A major part of the defence’s case is that Mr Floyd died from a drug overdose, rather than from the knee pressed into his neck.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 21:07
Samples from George Floyd showed presence of meth and fentanyl, toxicologist reports
So far Dr. Daniel Isenschmid has mainly confirmed what we already knew: blood and urine samples from George Floyd showed he had recently consumed methamphetamine and fentanyl at the time of his fatal arrest.
Tomorrow, the Hennepin County medical examiner is expected to testify, who will help put this evidence into context about whether these drugs were involved in causing Mr Floyd’s death.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 20:47
Up next: Dr. Daniel Isenschmid
The next witness to testify is forensic toxicologist Dr. Daniel Isenschmid of NMS Laboratory.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 20:30
Defence tries to poke holes in medical case suggesting George Floyd suffocated
For the last half hour or so, defense attorney Eric Nelson has been questioning various aspects of the medical testimony from Dr Martin Tobin, the lung expert who concluded that a lack of oxygen killed George Floyd.
“You’ve had the luxury of slowing things down,” Mr Nelson said, and noted how unlike doctors, police responding to rapidly changing circumstances on the ground have “nowhere close” to the level of his medical experience.
Mr Nelson also noted George Floyd had various factors—fentanyl in his body, recent meth use, heart disease, a potential surge in adrenaline in his body—all of which could’ve complicated his health during the fatal arrest in ways that might suggest Mr Chauvin’s knee didn’t cause his death.
But Mr Tobin said none of those things were seen to affect Mr Floyd’s body during the arrest itself. Instead, the clearest explanation for his death was a lack of oxygen.
“A healthy person subjected to what Mr Floyd was subjected to would’ve died as a result,” the lung doctor maintained, though it’s important to note Mr Tobin did not actually conduct the autopsy on Mr Floyd, so his judgements are based on clinical experience only.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 20:15
Court is back in session
Thursday’s proceedings are up and running once again with the continued testimony of Dr Martin Tobin, an ICU doctor and lung expert the state called to testify as an expert witness.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 19:36
Trial breaks for lunch
And that’s it for the morning’s testimony. The court will be back in session at 1:30pm US Central Time (7:30pm BST) after a lunch break. Stay tuned for more news and analysis of this landmark case.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 18:24