Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

Daniel Fowler
April 15, 2021

Mr. Kelly added that the trial has been all about George Floyd, and Derek Chauvin has not been humanized at all. However, he said contributing significant factors included Floyd's ingestion of fentanyl and methamphetamine, exposure to vehicle exhaust and possible carbon monoxide poisoning, and Floyd's paraganglioma, a tumor in his pelvis which in some cases secretes adrenaline, CBS News reported.

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.

In his original testimony, Fowler said carbon monoxide could have contributed to oxygen depletion in Floyd, noting that he was facing the tailpipe end of a squad auto. She also testified that she felt "totally distressed" and "helpless" that they would not let her render medical aid to Floyd. It was the first time Chauvin had spoken during his trial. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office ruled past year that the manner of death was homicide, an act caused by another person.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's lead lawyer, asked Fowler if Floyd died in a homicide or by some other manner.

Dr. David Fowler, who was Maryland's chief medical examiner until his retirement in 2019, also told the jury he believed exhaust fumes from the police auto next to which Chauvin pinned Floyd to the road may also have contributed to Floyd's death in May 2020.

This was a result of his "atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease" during the police restraint, Fowler said, using medical terms to describe the narrowing of blood vessels and heart problems caused by high blood pressure.

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Fowler inadvertently opened the door for a surprising line of impromptu questioning by prosecutor Jerry Blackwell when he testified under cross-examination that Floyd experienced a "sudden cardiac arrest". Fowler ruled Black's death an accident but Black's family said Fowler and other Maryland officials "covered up and obscured police responsibility" for Black's death.

In December, Fowler was sued in federal court by the family of Anton Black, who was 19 when he died after police pinned him facedown on the ground for several minutes as he cried out for his mother.

"Are you critical of the fact that he wasn't given immediate medical care when he went into cardiac arrest?"

"I certainly don't have medical degrees, but I was always trained and feel it's a reasonable assumption that if somebody's, 'I'm choking, I'm choking, ' well, you're not choking because you can breathe", he said. But the defense objected, and Fowler was not permitted to answer.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death after his arrest on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 at a neighborhood market.

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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