Physician who carried out George Floyd post-mortem stands by murder conclusion By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Homicide trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin

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By Jonathan Allen

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) -The health worker who carried out the post-mortem on George Floyd after final Could’s lethal arrest defined how he concluded the demise was a murder by the hands of police in testimony on Friday at former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin’s homicide trial.

As jurors studied post-mortem pictures, Dr. Andrew Baker, Hennepin County’s chief health worker, mentioned he stood by the reason for demise he decided final yr: “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating legislation enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”

Briefly, Baker dominated that Floyd’s coronary heart stopped beating and his lungs stopped working as a result of Chauvin, 45, and different officers pinned him to the bottom in a manner that starved his physique of oxygen.

Prosecutors even have introduced testimony from 4 different medical specialists to problem Chauvin’s protection in opposition to homicide and manslaughter expenses – that Floyd could have died of a drug overdose – and again up Baker’s findings. Chauvin has pleaded not responsible.

Chauvin, who’s white, was seen in movies of the arrest kneeling for greater than 9 minutes on Floyd’s neck because the 46-year-old Black man, in handcuffs, begged for his life in a fading voice. Floyd’s demise prompted protests in opposition to racism and police brutality in lots of cities in america and all over the world.

Here’s a have a look at some necessary moments from the tenth day of witness testimony within the trial:

DR. ANDREW BAKER, MEDICAL EXAMINER WHO PERFORMED FLOYD AUTOPSY

Baker described how he carried out the post-mortem, together with additional steps to chop into the flesh round the place Floyd’s wrists had been handcuffed and alongside his again to search for bruising from the arrest. Chauvin and three different officers had been making an attempt to arrest Floyd on suspicion of utilizing a faux $20 invoice to purchase cigarettes at a grocery retailer. They had been fired the next day.

Baker mentioned he famous Floyd’s coronary heart illness and the fentanyl and methamphetamine present in his blood on the demise certificates as a result of they might have performed a task within the demise, however “weren’t direct causes.”

“Mr. Floyd’s use of fentanyl didn’t trigger the subdual or the neck restraint, his coronary heart illness didn’t trigger the subdual or the neck restraint,” Baker informed the jury, referring to the best way police pressed Floyd face down in opposition to the road.

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell requested Baker why he didn’t {photograph} Floyd’s coronary heart, anticipating questions by Chauvin’s lawyer on whether or not coronary heart illness prompted Floyd’s demise.

“I do not usually {photograph} organs that look like completely regular until there’s some cause to,” Baker mentioned. “I haven’t got {a photograph} of Mr. Floyd’s spleen or Mr. Floyd’s liver, both, as a result of these had been additionally grossly regular.”

DR. LINDSEY THOMAS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST

Dr. Lindsey Thomas, an assistant health worker within the Hennepin County health worker’s workplace till she went into “semi-retirement” in 2017, mentioned the sheer quantity of movies of Floyd’s arrest helped help Baker’s findings.

“There’s by no means been a case I used to be concerned in that had movies over such a very long time body and from so many various views,” Thomas testified, saying the movies made it clear bodily indicators related to opioid overdose weren’t current in Floyd’s demise.

Thomas mentioned she had carried out greater than 5,000 autopsies throughout her profession. Whereas bodily inspecting a physique may be useful in figuring out a explanation for demise, Thomas mentioned different data and inquiries can typically be much more illuminating.

“What was completely distinctive on this case was the quantity of supplies I needed to evaluation,” Thomas mentioned, referring to movies recorded on bystanders’ cellphones and police body-worn cameras.

Thomas mentioned the movies made clear this was not a sudden demise from a coronary heart assault. She mentioned the movies additionally didn’t present indicators of a fentanyl overdose “the place somebody turns into very sleepy after which simply type of step by step, calmly, peacefully stops respiratory.”

Jurors had been handed envelopes containing pictures of Floyd’s corpse. Thomas drew their consideration to abrasions on the left aspect of Floyd’s face and his shoulder – wounds she known as “in step with what it appears like on the video, that he is struggling to push himself right into a place the place he can breathe.”

Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lead lawyer, bought Thomas to agree that being susceptible was not in itself adequate to kill somebody, noting that therapeutic massage therapists typically have shoppers lie face down.

“I could possibly be laying by the pool in Florida on my abdomen within the susceptible place – not inherently harmful?” Nelson requested.

“Proper,” Thomas replied.

Nelson requested her about hypothetical situations, with Floyd being discovered lifeless in numerous circumstances by which police weren’t concerned.

Blackwell, the prosecutor, subsequently requested Thomas, “George Floyd was not laying by the pool on his abdomen in Florida, was he?”

Thomas agreed, saying: “There is no proof to recommend he would have died that night time aside from the interactions with legislation enforcement.”





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