A medical expert specializing in pulmonology told jurors in Derek Chauvin’s murder case that the force with which George Floyd was pressed to the ground was like a “surgeon who went in and removed a lung.”
Dr. Martin Tobin, who has been a lung and intensive care specialist for over 45 years, testified on Thursday that he believed Floyd’s cause of death was due to a lack of oxygen that damaged his brain and caused his heart to stop when he was tied up. to the street by Minneapolis police officers.
During his testimony, Dr. Tobin how Floyd stopped breathing based on videos he watched on the spot and medical records.
Dr. Tobin said there were four forces that caused this fatal shallow breathing: the fact that Floyd lay face down on the street, had his hands cuffed behind his back, and had one knee in his neck and on his back.
Floyd’s cause of death has become the most contentious issue of Chauvin’s trial to date, with the defense claiming that he died as a result of a drug overdose.
When asked if Dr. Tobin, based on his medical expertise, had determined a cause of death for Floyd after watching videos of the scene, he said, “Mr. Floyd died from low oxygen levels.
‘Low oxygen levels were caused by shallow breathing. Small breaths that couldn’t get the air through his lungs. ‘
Dr. Martin Tobin was the first to testify before the prosecution on Thursday on what has become the most disputed issue of Chauvin’s trial to date: the cause of Floyd’s death.
Dr. Tobin referred to this image to show how Floyd was stopped by the officers after his arrest
At a gruesome moment, he told the court that the impact of the officers’ pressure and handcuffs made movement so impossible that “ in fact on the left side of his lung the effect was as if a surgeon had entered and removed his handcuffs. lung. ‘
The court was shown an image – depicting Dr. Tobin called a “snapshot” – showing the officers’ positions on Floyd before he died.
Dr. Tobin explained that he focused on the first 5 minutes and 3 seconds because that was when Floyd started showing signs of brain damage.
Chauvin, 45, is accused of murdering Floyd by squeezing his knee into the 46-year-old black man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while lying face down in handcuffs after being held for using an alleged counterfeit $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes
Using this image, Dr. Tobin’s judges on the impact these four forces would have had on Floyd’s death.
He said the impact of the handcuffs and the street conspired to keep Floyd’s chest in “a vise.”
‘It’s the positioning [of the handcuffs] then how he’s being manipulated by both agents Chauvin and Keung, and they push the handcuffs in his back and push them high, ” said Dr. Tobin.
‘On the other side you have the street and it’s against the hard asphalt street, so the way they push the handcuffs down, up the street … It’s like the left side is in a vise, squeezed in from both sides from the street below and the handcuffs and how they’re held, where they’re pushed. ‘
This meant that Floyd’s lungs and chest couldn’t move from front to back – a vital movement of breathing, he said.
Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson has previously made a lot of what he describes as ‘camera perspective bias’, using the idea to suggest that Chauvin’s knee wasn’t on Floyd’s neck all the time.
Dr. However, Tobin said that, according to his calculations, Chauvin’s left knee “was in his neck most of the time.”
“It’s more than 90 percent of the time,” he said.
As for his right knee, Dr. Tobin said it was on Floyd’s back 57 percent of the time — the time when he could get a clear view.
At other times it was placed on his arm and then rammed into Mr. Floyd’s left chest, so really when you make a distinction whether his knee is on his chest or on the left arm and rammed into the chest from the chest. from a breathing point of view, the effects are very similar. ‘
Chauvin, 45, is being charged with murder and manslaughter after being charged with trapping his knee in Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May.
Chauvin, 45, has been charged with murder and manslaughter after being charged with imprisoning his knee in Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds in May last year.
He pleaded not guilty, arguing that he was only doing what he was trained as an officer for in his 19 years.
Chauvin was fired by city police the day after he was videotaped kneeling by the neck of a handcuff around Floyd after he was arrested for using an alleged $ 20 counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes.
The trial so far has been filled with testimony from a number of Minneapolis police officers who rejected Chauvin’s actions to restrain Floyd.
A force use instructor stated that officers were coached to “ stay out of the way if possible, ” and other experienced officers, including the police chief, said Floyd should not have been pinned to the sidewalk handcuffed for so long. behind his back.
Other testimonials so far at trial have come from emotional witnesses, including Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross and bystanders who saw everything happen.
In addition to the testimony, the Prosecution has also introduced multiple videos, including footage of Chauvin’s body camera and footage of EMTs trying to resuscitate Floyd in an ambulance.