Police restraint killed George Floyd, says expert | Sunday Observer
Derek Chauvin trial::

Police restraint killed George Floyd, says expert

11 April, 2021
Black America ‘exhausted’ by deaths and trials
Black America ‘exhausted’ by deaths and trials

WASHINTON, April 10. (BBC) - George Floyd died because of how police restrained him, a medical expert at the trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis has said.

Forensic pathologist Dr Lindsey Thomas said “the activities of the law enforcement officers resulted in Floyd’s death” from lack of oxygen.

Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.

The ex-officer is on trial for murder and has denied the charges against him.

The footage of Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on African-American Floyd’s neck sparked global protests against racism.

Prosecutors are trying to prove Chauvin’s use of force resulted in Floyd’s death, while Chauvin’s defence are seeking to show he was following his training and that drugs and heart disease may have caused Floyd’s death.

On Friday, the prosecution also called medical examiner Dr Andrew Michael Baker, who performed the post-mortem examination of Floyd.

He said Floyd’s death was due to his interaction with law enforcement, but said his drug use and underlying heart disease also played a role.

The official autopsy of George Floyd makes no mention of asphyxia, but Dr Thomas - a veteran forensic pathologist who has performed well over 5,000 autopsies in multiple US states - said she believed it was the primary manner by which he died.

Dr Thomas reviewed Floyd’s autopsy, medical reports and other materials on behalf of the prosecution. She also trained Dr Andrew Baker, the chief medical examiner who issued Floyd’s official death certificate. “This is not a sudden cardiac death,” she said. “It’s a death where both the heart and lungs stopped working.”

She said Floyd was unable to get oxygen into his lungs with three police officers on top of him because he was handcuffed, in a prone position and had a knee on his neck.

“What that means is the activities of the law enforcement officers resulted in Floyd’s death.”

She said she could confidently rule out other possible causes of death, including a drug overdose, a fatal heart attack and lung disease.

When asked if Floyd’s underlying health issues and ingestion of drugs might lead to a reasonable conclusion that he died of heart disease, Dr Thomas asserted it made no sense to ignore the reality of his “subdual, restraint and compression” by police.