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Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs or bad heart – Times of India

MINNEAPOLIS: George floyd died of lack of oxygen after being pinned to the sidewalk with a knee on his neck, a medical expert testified to the former officer Derek chauvinThursday’s murder trial, categorically rejecting the defense theory that Floyd’s drug use and underlying health issues were what killed him.
“A healthy person subject to what Mr. Floyd Said prosecution witness Dr. Martin Tobin, a lung and intensive care specialist at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital and Loyola University School of Medicine in Chicago.
Using easy-to-understand language to explain a host of medical concepts, Tobin told the jury that Floyd’s breathing was too shallow to take in enough oxygen as Chauvin and other officers pinned the 46-year-old black man on her stomach last May. with his hands cuffed behind him and his face stuck against the sidewalk.
The lack of oxygen resulted in brain damage and caused his heart to stop, the witness said.
Tobin, analyzing a graphical presentation of the three officers holding Floyd during what prosecutors say lasted nearly 9 and a half minutes, testified that Chauvin’s knee was “practically on the neck” more than 90% of the time by his estimate. .
The witness cited several factors that he said made it difficult for Floyd to breathe, beyond Chauvin’s knee on his neck: the officers lifting themselves up on the suspect’s handcuffs, the harsh street, his prone position, his head turned and one knee on the back. .
Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 3 minutes, 2 seconds, after Floyd “reached the point where there was not an ounce of oxygen left in the body,” Tobin said. And he said that after officers found no pulse, the knee remained on Floyd’s neck for 2 minutes, an additional 44 seconds.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being charged with attempting to pass a fake $ 20 bill.
Video of a bystander of Floyd crying he couldn’t breathe as bystanders shouted at Chauvin to leave him sparked protests and dispersed violence in the United States.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that the now-fired white officer did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s use of illegal drugs – an autopsy revealed fentanyl and methamphetamine in his body – and underlying medical issues which included high blood pressure and heart disease caused his death, not Chauvin’s actions.
But Tobin said he analyzed Floyd’s breathing as seen on the body camera video and explained that while fentanyl typically reduces the respiration rate by 40 percent, Floyd’s breathing was “by little. near normal ”.
Tobin also explained that just because Floyd was talking and showing in motion on video doesn’t mean he was breathing properly. He said a person can keep talking until the airways narrows to 15% – but once they descend below it’s dangerous. “To the point where you can’t speak… you’re in big trouble,” he said.
Officers are heard on a video telling Floyd that if he can talk he can breathe.
He said it seemed like Floyd was getting enough oxygen for about the first five minutes to keep his brain alive because he was still talking.
But Tobin said where Chauvin had his knee after the five minutes wouldn’t make much of a difference, because by then Floyd had already suffered brain damage.
Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, repeatedly showed the jury stills from the video which he said showed Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s shoulder blade. But almost all of those images were captured more than five minutes after the start of the ordeal, according to the video timestamp.
Tobin explained to jurors what happens when the space in the airways narrows, saying that breathing then becomes “enormously more difficult”, like “breathing through a straw”.
He said if the hypopharynx – the lower part of the throat – becomes totally blocked, it only takes a few seconds to reduce the oxygen level to where it would cause “either a fit or a heart attack.”
Prosecutors showed images of Floyd side by side, one with the front of his face leaning against the sidewalk and another with his head turned. Tobin said that when Floyd’s head was face down on the ground, a ligament at the back of his neck would have protected his airways. But with his head turned, Chauvin’s weight would have compressed the hypopharynx.
The expert calculated that at times when Chauvin was in an almost upright position with his toes on the ground, half of Chauvin’s body weight – 91.5 pounds – was directly on Floyd’s neck.
Tobin also reviewed the body camera video which showed Floyd’s leg moving upward during the restraint, saying it was unintentional and at the time: “You see a fatal brain injury here from lack of ‘oxygen.”
Tobin used plain language, with terms like “pump handle” and “bucket handle” to describe the act of breathing for jurors. At one point, he invited them to “examine your own neck, all of you on the jury right now” to better understand the effect of a knee on a person’s neck.
Most jurors felt their necks as Tobin ordered, although the judge later told them they didn’t have to.

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