Medical expert: Chauvin's knee did not injure Floyd

Andrew Cummings
April 15, 2021

Mr. Kelly added that the trial has been all about George Floyd, and Derek Chauvin has not been humanized at all. Dr. David Fowler says carbon monoxide poisoning is one of several factors that contributed to Floyd's death.

Prosecutors have argued that Chauvin drained Floyd of oxygen when he knelt on his neck for more than 9 minutes as Floyd lay handcuffed stomach-down in the street with one officer kneeling on his buttocks and thigh area and another officer kneeling and holding onto his legs.

Dr Fowler ruled his death an accident but Mr Black's family said Dr Fowler and other Maryland officials "covered up and obscured police responsibility" for his death.

Nelson began his case on Tuesday by challenging the heart of the case against Chauvin, calling a use-of-force expert who testified that Chauvin was justified in pinning Floyd and keeping him down and that it might have gone easier if only Floyd had stopped struggling and began "resting comfortably" on the pavement.

The only time Chauvin has been publicly heard defending himself was when the jury listened to body-camera footage from the scene last May.

The medical examiner in the case has called the death a homicide, but Fowler said there were so many contributing factors that he would consider the manner of death "undetermined".

Under questioning by the defense, Brodd also testified that bystanders yelling at police to get off Floyd complicated the situation for Chauvin and the others by causing them to wonder whether the crowd was becoming a threat, too.

Fowler listed a multitude of factors or potential ones: Floyd's narrowed arteries, his enlarged heart, his high blood pressure, his drug use, the stress of his restraint, the vehicle exhaust, and a tumor or growth in his lower abdomen that can sometimes play a role in high blood pressure by releasing "fight-or-flight" hormones.

A retired forensic pathologist says George Floyd died from complications relating to his heart disease while being restrained by police officers.

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell launched an aggressive cross-examination, attacking Fowler's findings.

In December, Fowler was sued in federal court by the family of Anton Black, who was 19 when he died in 2018 in police custody.

"Are you suggesting that though Mr. Floyd may have been in cardiac arrest there was a time when he may have been revived because he wasn't dead yet?" asked Blackwell.

"That is correct, because it was never sent", Fowler said.

Fowler further agreed that Floyd should have been given immediate attention when he went into cardiac arrest because there still was a chance to save him at that point. Dr Fowler denied saying that. He said Chauvin's kneeling on Floyd was not a significant factor in his death and that Chauvin's knee wasn't near Floyd's airway. But the defense objected, and Fowler was not permitted to answer.

Mr Chauvin, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges.

Nelson said that he and Chauvin have had numerous conversations on whether or not he should take the witness stand, including a lengthy conversation Wednesday night.

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