George Floyd’s coroner says police restraint ‘more than he could take’

Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr Andrew Baker is expected to testify today in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. George Floyd died ‘because he had no oxygen in his body’, medical expert says

Dr Baker is the only person who performed an autopsy on George Floyd, following his death in May 2020 in the custody of Mr Chauvin and three other Minneapolis officers.

The former officer faces two murder charges after he knelt on Mr Floyd’s back for more than nine minutes during the arrest for a counterfeit $20 bill nearly 12 months ago.

Dr Baker’s testimony will come a day after two major witnesses for the state testified in court on Thursday that Mr Floyd died when Mr Chauvin kneeled on his neck until he couldn’t breathe.

“Mr Floyd died of positional asphyxia, which is a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen in his body,” said Dr Bill Smock, a forensic medical specialist and police training doctor.

“When the body is deprived of oxygen, in this case from pressure on his chest and back, he gradually succumbed  to lower and lower levels of oxygen until it was gone and he died,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Dr Martin Tobin, a lung specialist, reached a similar conclusion on the stand.

“Mr Floyd died from a low level of oxygen,” he said. “It’s like the left side is in a vice. It’s totally being totally pushed in, squeezed in from each side,” he added.

The jury is set to reconvene at 9:15am CT (3:15 UK) on Friday, as the prosecution continues to state its case.

George Clooney emailed George Floyd’s family’s lawyer advice for trial

George Clooney emailed George Floyd’s family’s lawyer advice about how to deal with the defence’s suggestion that a drug overdose caused Floyd’s death and not the actions of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The defence has argued drugs, rather than Mr Chauvin’s knee being pressed into Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during the arrest in May 2020, caused his death.

Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, appeared on The View on Thursday to discuss the case, revealing that the Hollywood actor often emails him with support.

“‘Attorney Crump, you should tell them if Derek Chauvin feels so confident in that, he should volunteer during his case, to get down on the floor in that courtroom, and let somebody come and put their knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds and be able to see if he can survive,’” Mr Crump said a recent email read.

A spokesperson for Clooney confirmed to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday that the actor sent the email to Mr Crump.

On the stand now: forensic pathologist Dr. Lindsey Thomas

The trial is now off to a start.

The first witness is Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a Minnesota-based forensic pathologist, serving as an expert witness for the state.

Today will continue yesterday’s focus on the medical evidence about what killed George Floyd. The most important witness in that category, the county medical examiner who conducted Mr Floyd’s autopsy, is expected to take the stand later today.

The battle of the experts continues

We’ve now reached the “battle of the experts” stage of the trial, where the state and the defence are going back and forth trying to argue the medical evidence around George Floyd’s death goes their way.

Here are some of the biggest moments from yesterday’s proceedings, where a number of doctors argued Mr Floyd died from a lack air, not a heart attack or a drug overdose.

That supports the prosecution’s case that Derek Chauvin’s knee on Mr Floyd’s neck was what killed him.

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