A pulmonologist said during the George Floyd death trial on Thursday that the victim died of suffocation due to low blood oxygen levels, after former police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for more than nine minutes.
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The expert categorically rejected Chauvin's defense theory that Floyd's drug use and poor health were the cause of his death. "A healthy person subjected to what Floyd was subjected to would have died," said Tobin, who is a prosecution witness and analyzed the medical records of the case. Using easy language to explain medical concepts, he told the jury that Floyd's breathing was severely weakened because he was face down in the street, handcuffed and with Chauvin and other Minneapolis cops pressing his neck and his back. According to him, the lack of oxygen led to brain damage and caused Floyd's heart to stop. Analyzing the footage from the prison, Tobin said that "Chauvin's knee is practically in Floyd's neck over 90% of the time." Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for three minutes and two seconds after the African American took his last breath, Tobin said.
He was removed from the police force along with the three other officers involved in the action that led to Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, when they arrested the African American for allegedly attempting to shop at a store with a fake $ 20 bill. The other officers involved also face charges related to Floyd's death and will be tried separately at the end of 2021. Chauvin's trial is expected to last around a month.