Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Expert blames George Floyd’s death on heart rhythm problem

Dr David Fowler Dr David Fowler
Bennie Garza | 17 April, 2021, 19:11

Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin has waived his right to testify to the jury about his part in the deadly arrest last May of George Floyd as his murder trial, the most high-profile police misconduct case in decades, nears its end.

Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday, before a racially diverse jury retires to consider its verdict in a case that sparked a global protest movement and a renewed debate about race relations.

Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th amendment right not to take the stand, passing up the chance to explain to the jury and the public for the first time what he was thinking when he pressed his knee against Mr Floyd's neck.

But the judge said that he will limit what the witness can testify about.

"It is your honor", Chauvin said.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, asked him if he understood that "neither the state nor the court can comment on your silence as a sign or an indication of your guilt".

Law enforcement veterans inside and outside the Minneapolis department testified for the prosecution that Mr Chauvin used excessive force and went against his training, while medical experts said Mr Floyd died of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, because his breathing was constricted by the way he was held down.

The South African-born Fowler said Floyd had an enlarged heart and a "significant narrowing of all of his coronary arteries".

Fowler served as a defense expert that claimed carbon monoxide from a nearby police vehicle potentially played a role in the death of George Floyd.

He said Floyd was held faceddown on the ground by Chauvin and other officers next to the exhaust pipe of a running police auto.

Dr Fowler said that the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system, and possible carbon monoxide poisoning from a auto exhaust, were contributing factors.

"Is this your decision not to testify?" Chauvin is on trial on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the May 25, 2020, death of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. VA Hospital and Loyola University's medical school in Chicago, who testified earlier for the prosecution.

Hill said Floyd had been "happy, normal, talking, alert" that day and then had fallen asleep in his auto. The police were summoned after Floyd was accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill.

The newer case is of former police officer Kim Potter who is due to appear charged with second degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright on Sunday.

The outcome of the high-profile trial is being closely watched after video of the arrest of Floyd captured by a bystander prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests over race and police brutality across the US and around the world.

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