The medical examiner said police had a use of force in the death of George Floyd
A Hennepin County medical examiner told the U.S. jury on Friday that George Floyd was killed when the physical force used when he was arrested in Minneapolis was more than his tight heart could bear.
Dr. Andrew Baker, who performed an official autopsy on Floyd, is a key witness in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. His testimony fed the two legal groups as they continued to discuss the exact medical condition of Floyd’s death.
Chauvin da charged with a second- and third-degree homicide and a homicide that took Floyd to his neck for about nine minutes, the 46-year-old repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. An audience filmed the event and posted it online, sparking worldwide protests demanding racial justice. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty.
Prior to Baker’s testimony, the prosecutor called three medical experts Floyd told the stand that he had died of asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen. The defense said in early statements that Floyd died of a heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, along with ingestion of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Baker’s completed death certificate was the cause of Floyd’s death because it was “a conspiracy to enforce the law, a cardiac arrest that complicates the compression of the neck and complicates the neck.”
“He had very serious heart disease,” Baker said. “It has a heart that needs more oxygen because of its size, and its ability to deliver and deliver more oxygen depending on demand is limited.”
According to Baker, the clash between Floyd and Chauvin releases adrenaline and other stress hormones into the body, pushing the heart faster to supply more oxygen.
“In my opinion, the subterfuge, restraint, and neck compression of law enforcement was just what Mr. Floyd could have taken as a result of these heart conditions,” he said.
Baker said he deliberately didn’t watch the video before the exam began because he didn’t want it to affect his impressions.
But Baker also stated that he could say Floyd’s death was “natural” or “accidental,” but he didn’t decide. Instead, he was charged with homicide. For a medical examiner it does not imply criminal guilt, but it does mean “death at the hands of another”.
He also noted that although fentanyl and methamphetamine contributed to Floyd’s death, there were no direct reasons for this.
When Eric Nelson Chauvin’s lawyer questioned Baker, he asked if, after an autopsy, Hennepin County Attorney General, who is based in Minneapolis, told him “you would determine that fentanyl is an overdose in different situations.”
“I don’t remember exactly what I said to the district attorney, but it was probably something like that: Mr. Floyd was alone in his locked residence with no evidence of trauma and the only autopsy finding was that fentanyl level, then yes, I would establish Fentanil toxicity,” he replied. said Baker.
Interpreting the results of toxicology depends on the context, he said, and “the stress of that interaction was [with law enforcement] which put him on the edge considering his underlying heart disease and his toxicological condition ”.
On the same day the prosecution called Dr. Lindsey Thomas to the place where Floyd died of asphyxiation as a result of the force he used to hold the police. Thomas, a former Hennepin County medical examiner who helped train Baker, said “there is no evidence that he died that night except for law enforcement interactions.”