George Floyd news – live: Toxicologist who drug tested Floyd evidence testifies at Derek Chauvin trialavril 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.
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
Fentanyl wasn’t what slowed George Floyd’s breathing, lung expert testifies in Derek Chauvin trial
Fentanyl in his body didn’t play a role in slowing George Floyd’s breathing before he ultimately died, a lung expert testified on Thursday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The defence has argued drugs, rather than Mr Chauvin’s knee being pressed into Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during the arrest, caused the death.
According to Dr Martin Tobin, an ICU doctor and lung expert from Loyola University who testified on behalf of the state, video evidence of the arrest didn’t suggest fentanyl was affecting Mr Floyd’s breathing. Fentanyl, Mr Tobin, is a powerful opioid which can slow the breathing rate, but Mr Floyd continued to take breaths at a normal clip before passing out.
“It tells you that there isn’t fentanyl on board that is affecting his respiratory centers,” Dr Tobin said.
I’ve got more details here.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 18:19
If you can speak, you can breathe: Not quite true, lung doctor testifies
Trial is once again focusing on the idea that if someone is speaking, that means they can breathe properly.
Bystander video of Mr Floyd last May also showed former officer Tou Thao, who goes on trial later this summer for his role in the fatal arrest, telling the crowd urging officers to provide medical care that, “He’s talking, so he can breathe”.
During his testimony today, Dr Martin Tobin, an ICU doctor and lung expert, said this belief isn’t quite true.
“It’s a true statement, but it gives you an enormous false sense of security,” he said. “Certainly at the moment you are speaking you are breathing, but it doesn’t tell you that you are going to be breathing five seconds later.”
This echoes what a Minneapolis police medical officer said in court earlier this week.
“There is a possibility that somebody could be in respiratory distress and still be able to verbalise it. Just because they’re speaking doesn’t mean they’re breathing adequately,” Nicole Mackenzie, a former EMT and the medical support coordinator for the Minneapolis Police Department, who testified on Tuesday.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 17:48
Police kept kneeling on George Floyd for minutes after there was ‘not one ounce’ of oxygen in his body, lung expert says
Lung expert and ICU doctor Martin Tobin is continuing his testimony. As a witness for the state, he closely reviewed video and medical records from George Floyd’s fatal arrest.
As a result of his analysis, Dr Tobin believes that police remained on top of Mr Floyd well after he was no longer breathing.
“The knee remained on the neck for another 3 minutes and two seconds after we reached the point where there was not one ounce of oxygen left in the body,” Mr Tobin told jurors on Thursday.
Josh Marcus8 April 2021 17:32