George Floyd

Expert Witnesses Reinforce the Prosecution's Case That Obstructed Breathing Killed George Floyd

The witnesses rejected the defense's suggestion that Floyd might have died from a drug overdose.


The prosecution in Derek Chauvin's murder trial argues that the former Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd by pinning him facedown to the pavement for nine and half minutes. In that position, prosecutors say, Floyd could not breathe enough to stay alive. Today expert witnesses reinforced that account, saying the evidence indicates that Floyd—who complained 27 times that he was having trouble breathing—died from lack of oxygen.

Chicago physician Martin Tobin, who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine, noted that Floyd, who was arrested on May 25 for using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes, was handcuffed behind his back and forced to lie on his stomach, both of which would have made breathing difficult. At the same time, Chauvin had one knee on Floyd's neck and frequently had the other on his arm, pressing against the side of his chest. Officer J. Alexander Kueng, meanwhile, was applying pressure to Floyd's back, and Officer Thomas Lane was holding down his legs. Tobin also noted that video shows Chauvin and Kueng "pushing [the handcuffs] into his back and pushing them high," which would have made it even harder to breathe.

Based on how Chauvin was positioned and taking into account the gear he was wearing, Tobin estimated that he was applying 87 to 91 pounds of weight to Floyd's neck. "We're talking half of his body weight and half of his gear [weight], and all of that is coming down," he said. "It's like the left side is in a vise. It's being pushed in from the street at the bottom, and the way the handcuffs are manipulated…totally interferes with central features of how we breathe."

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, has suggested that the officers thought Floyd was faking when said, over and over again, that he could not breathe. But Tobin cited other indications of Floyd's respiratory distress: He lifted his left shoulder in an attempt to relieve the pressure on his lungs, for example, and tried to create breathing space by pushing his fingers against the street and a squad car tire.

With his chest against the pavement and the officers pushing on him from above, Floyd "was being squashed between the two sides," Tobin said. "On the left side of his lung, it was almost as if…a surgeon had gone in and removed the lung…There was very little opportunity for him to be able to get any air to move into the left side of his chest." He said the pressure on Floyd's neck also restricted the "air getting into the passageway," with an effect similar to breathing through a straw, which is "enormously difficult."

About five minutes after he was pinned to the street, Floyd "kicked out his leg in an extension form," which Tobin said indicated "brain injury from a low level of oxygen." Floyd lost consciousness around the same time and stopped breathing 23 seconds later. Chauvin's knee "remained on the neck for another 3 minutes and 2 seconds," even after Kueng checked for a pulse and said he could not find one.

"Floyd died from a low level of oxygen," Tobin said. "This caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA [pulseless electrical activity] arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."

That conclusion is broadly consistent with the results of an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family. Forensic pathologists Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson said Floyd died from "mechanical asphyxia." The autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, by contrast, said nothing about asphyxia, attributing Floyd's death to "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." Both reports described the manner of death as homicide.

"Cardiopulmonary arrest," of course, means Floyd's heart and lungs stopped functioning, which would describe any death. As Tobin noted, lack of oxygen can cause arrhythmia. But the same use of force that made it hard for Floyd to breathe also could have affected blood flow or heart activity more directly. The respiratory and cardiovascular systems are so intertwined that it may be impossible to conclusively say which failed first.

Does it matter? If "law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression" contributed to the "cardiopulmonary arrest" described in the official autopsy report, that still means the cops killed Floyd, and so does the determination that his death was a homicide.

The defense argues that Floyd "died of a cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, his coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body, all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart." But it strains credulity to suppose that the stress inflicted by Floyd's prolonged prone restraint had nothing to do with "the adrenaline flowing through his body" or the ensuing "cardiac arrhythmia."

Nelson has implicitly conceded that the officers' actions were the but-for cause of Floyd's death. In a pretrial motion, he faulted Kueng and Lane for needlessly escalating the situation by trying to force Floyd into their squad car. "If Kueng and Lane had chosen to de-escalate instead of struggle, Mr. Floyd may have survived," he said. What can that mean except that Floyd died because of the way the cops treated him?

Although video of the arrest plainly shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck, Nelson maintains that Chauvin actually placed his knee "between the shoulder blades at the base of the neck." Today he noted that no bruising was found on Floyd's neck, which Tobin said is consistent with the steady pressure that Chauvin applied. "When I go to church, I sit on a hard bench," he said. "I don't get bruising on my bottom."

But the exact position of Chauvin's knee, or the way we describe it, does not matter if the issue is the respiratory difficulty caused by keeping Floyd pinned facedown to the ground. Nor does it matter if the issue is the cardiac stress caused by that prolonged prone restraint. Either way, Floyd would have survived this encounter if the cops had handled it differently.

Nelson has suggested that Floyd, who had swallowed black-market "Percocet" tablets containing fentanyl and methamphetamine, might have died from a drug overdose. But judging from the blood test results, that seems quite unlikely. David Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist who also testified today, said the ratio of fentanyl to the metabolite norfentanyl in Floyd's blood was much lower than what is typically seen in fatal overdose cases.

Tobin also cast doubt on the idea that fentanyl could have killed Floyd. While Floyd was having trouble drawing adequate breaths, he said, his breathing rate was normal, which is inconsistent with the respiratory depression caused by an opioid overdose.

"The cause of the low level of oxygen was shallow breathing," Tobin said. Because of the pressure on his chest, he said, Floyd was taking "small breaths…that weren't able to carry the air through his lungs down to the essential areas of the lungs that get oxygen into the blood and get rid of the carbon dioxide."

Tobin also noted that someone who dies of a fentanyl overdose first lapses into a coma, and that did not happen in Floyd's case. Bill Smock, a physician who specializes in emergency medicine, likewise said Floyd did not exhibit signs of a fentanyl overdose: He was talking, he was not sleepy, and his pupils were not constricted. "That is not a fentanyl overdose," he said. "That is someone begging to breathe."

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  1. Imma prove this shit no matter the fact that the local, county, state, and federal government wants a conviction.

    Libertarian my ass.

    1. Libertarians for the death penalty for passing fake currency? Libertarians for the death penalty administered by cops acting as judge, jury, and executioner? Libertarians for random drunken fascists living under the overpass, deciding such matters, instead of jurors hearing out many-many details about the case, and then deciding on the case?

      PS, the prosecution lawyers want a conviction, and the defense lawyers want a “not guilty” finding. Did you know that? Well, now you know! (Unless you prefer some wild lies from whatever source you want to believe, I guess. Some of live in our own little worlds, in alternate realities, it seems).

      1. Of course you’re pro railroad a man into prison.

        1. Of course you’re pro second-guessing the jury, although you may know 1% or 2%, maybe 3%, of as much as the jury knows. Know it alls? They… Wait for it now… They know it ALL!!!

          1. The problem isn’t with the jury decision, the problem is with Sullum’s gaslighting and lies of omission.

            I strongly suspect that Chauvin is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but that doesn’t change the fact that Sullum is purposefully misrepresenting what is happening in court and trying to craft a narrative.

            1. Is this some sort of bot?

              1. Lol, I made you supermad, huh nutball.

                1. Hilarious that you CACLLs are so angry and contentious you end up fighting among yourselves.

                  1. Did you coin that?

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            2. “the problem is with Sullum”

              Yes, a Reason blog post is going to make the difference in whether Chauvin walks or not. Reason holds that kind of sway over public opinion. I’m sure all the jurors are sneaking looks at Sullum’s daily coverage.

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    4. Sullum couldn’t have chosen a worse expert to raise up as his proof. The guy said fentanyl has no effect on respiratory issues. The doctor was a terrible witness.

      I also find it strange that sullum is ignoring any and all cross examination discussions. This is a political conviction and Sullum is just fine with it.

      1. Yawn! You may want to consider that it is you
        who are dead set on a particular outcome in this trial, and not listening with open ears.

        1. Wait, so by me pointing out something the witness said and you not doing so….

        2. What are you talking about guy? This doctor said he didn’t believe fentanyl had any impact on Floyd’s death. Floyd’s postmortem toxicology report found THREE TIMES the lethal dose of fentanyl, the corner found no damage to Floyd’s airway, or evidence of a “blood choke” (e.g. damage to carotid arteries impacted blood flow to brain).

          You want to talk about someone looking for a pre-determined conclusion? Look in a mirror — you’re making a case *against* the available evidence based upon the opinion of a person who didn’t even examine Floyd’s body or run his blood tests.

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  2. his breathing rate was normal,…
    The cause of the low level of oxygen was shallow breathing

    Would you have shallow breathing at a normal rate?

  3. “Nelson has suggested that Floyd, who had swallowed black-market “Percocet” tablets containing fentanyl and methamphetamine, might have died from a drug overdose. But judging from the blood test results, that seems quite unlikely. David Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist who also testified today, said ratio of fentanyl to the metabolite norfentanyl in Floyd’s blood was much lower than what is typically seen in fatal overdose cases.

    The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, and “quite unlikely” doesn’t get there.

    As linked in this post:

    According to the autopsy report, the concentration of fentanyl in George Floyd’s body was 11 ng/mL, and there is an NIH study (also linked) that shows plenty of people dying from an overdose of fentanyl with lower concentrations than what George Floyd had in his system when he died.

    I have little doubt but that George Floyd was choked to death by the police. The question is whether fentanyl contributed to that outcome, and I suspect the answer to that question doesn’t clear the reasonable doubt standard for more than one out of twelve jurors.

    If I were a handicapper in Vegas, I’d set the over/under somewhere just above the second-degree manslaughter charge.

    1. The question is whether fentanyl contributed to that outcome….
      Why not take a page from the Covid playbook. If fentanyl is in the blood of anyone who dies at the hands of police then rule it a fentanyl death… they dies with while suffering from fentanyl poisoning.
      Its not a legal, medical or scientific issue – its just a classification issue that determines how much we should panic.

      1. You do know that George Floyd had COVID when he died, right?

        1. Exactly. I don’t understand why we’re having a trial, Floyd is a covid death.

    2. The problem I see is that if the reasonable doubt standard is applied as you suggest then there is no real reason for any murder conviction. A lawyer could argue the person the defendant shot may have die of a heart attack and the bullet just hid the evidence of that heart attack. Reasonable doubt.

      This is a pretty straight forward case, don’t over think it. They had Floyd down and they held him down till he died of asphyxiations. Just that simple.

      1. “The problem I see is that if the reasonable doubt standard is applied as you suggest then there is no real reason for any murder conviction.”

        You seem to be having trouble differentiating between reasonable and unreasonable.

        And I’m not saying that George Floyd wasn’t choked to death. I’m saying that the best bet for a unanimous jury using the reasonable doubt standard is probably second-degree manslaughter.

        1. No, I think the idea of “reasonable doubt” is fertilizer. I think people know the truth don’t want to accept it and then use “reasonable doubt” to avoid a difficult decision. Reasonable doubt is acceptable when the prosecution is working with circumstantial evidence or little evidence hard evidence. Here you have a whole lot of evidence and I can not see reasonable doubt playing into the decision.

          1. “No, I think the idea of “reasonable doubt” is fertilizer. ”

            Ladies and gentlemen, an idiot.

            1. I’m having a hard time getting around that conclusion.

              Some people pick a side walking in and then paint themselves into the most ridiculous corners to defend it. They seemed so reasonable when they picked a side first, but challenge them on this point or that point, and before you know it, they’ve talked themselves into believing something obtuse–like that reasonable doubt is essentially meaningless. Now, they feel like they gotta go around pretending that’s ingenious and the rest of us should believe it’s ingenious, too!

              Preponderance of the doubt? Beyond a reasonable doubt? Doesn’t matter! There are no degrees of uncertainty in the real world. Isn’t that ingenious? Everything is black or white. They’re either guilty or not. Aren’t I ingenious? Now where’s my trophy?

              1. Most of my life has been working in a scientific field, chemistry, and I know that there is no such thing as certain. Every measurement I made came with an uncertainty. Never the less, I had to make decisions based on the data I had. That included changing a theory when it did not fit the data. Accepting that no conclusion could be made because because results were within the limits of uncertainty.

                What I am saying is that sometimes the data is there and it is easier to avoid a tough decision (see O.J. Simpson or Rodney King). I have seen nothing to suggest there is enough in this case to justify reasonable doubt. The defense still has to present its case and that could change things. But not at this point.

                1. “That included changing a theory when it did not fit the data.”

                  The principles behind an overdose of fentanyl introducing reasonable doubt into the question of why George Floyd stopped breathing isn’t a theory. And principles don’t change based on any one particular case.

                  The principles behind reasonable doubt and what constitutes it have been established over hundreds of years and millions of cases. There isn’t anything special about the George Floyd case in that regard–regardless of whether you’re a physicist, a chemist, or a ditch digger.

                  1. Well said. The prosecutors overcharged in this case for political purposes. This is a much better case for the prosecution as manslaughter than it is as murder. Intent is a difficult thing to prove here, and if the fentanyl level in Floyd’s blood is provably well into the lethal range, he was a dead man walking anyway.

                2. “I have seen nothing to suggest there is enough in this case to justify reasonable doubt. ”
                  Everything the prosecution has suggested leads to reasonable doubt. They cannot even stick to one cause of death – knee on neck? Weight on chest? Not on recovery position on his side? Did not give/begin chest compressions on time? Overdose of fentanyl could not have been known by cop, so their restraint assuming normal metabolic state was reasonable decision making. No comviction. If they cannot fix on a cause of death they cannot convict. ALL of their suggestions of cause of death are speculative in some sense and leave lots of room for reasonable doubt.

          2. You really are nothing more than a paid shill, aren’t you.

            1. If you want to be known as someone who believes only things that are backed by evidence, you should ease up on the accusations that commenters here are being paid to comment.

              It just makes you look stupid and immature.

              1. Youre too dumb to even get paid for what you post? You did say you would only speak badly of a Democrat if you were rewarded just yesterday.

                1. Really? I’m surprised Dee was capable of the level of candor. Given what a disingenuous shit heshe has always proven to be.

              2. Dee, you bitch!

          3. You really need to watch the trial. EVERY ‘news’ outlet is, at the very least, leaving out important details. Most are flat-out lying.

            1. They present the prosecution case only, nothing from defense cross, leaving the impression it is slam dunk conviction. The public will be shccked at the verdict. The city will burn regardless of the outcome.

      2. I was just on a jury that hung over whether a guy could drink 18oz of cheap whiskey in his car in his driveway and hide the bottle from view in the 4 seconds he wasn’t visible on camera. It is amazing what people can talk themselves into believing is a ‘reasonable’ doubt if they want to.

        The uncomfortable truth in this case is that it doesn’t matter what the prosecution or defense presents – it will ultimately be decided by the minimum charge the jury feels it can convict on without getting their homes burned down.

    3. Just because people have died from lower doses doesn’t mean anything. Tolerances between addicts and non-addicts vary widely. Tolerances between two addicts can very widely.

      I’m not a medical expert, but Floyd didn’t appear to be overdosing on opiates.

      1. “Floyd didn’t appear to be overdosing on opiates”

        What does that look like?

        1. Discussed in the article above. Did you read it?

          1. No it didn’t. It didn’t say what an OD looked like at all. It said the doctors opinion that the drugs had little to no contribution which was a lie as pointed out by the original coroner’s report. Weird. Like you only have ignorance on your side.

            1. It’s the democrat way.

        2. They wouldn’t be yelling “I can’t breath” or “mama.”

          Most likely they’d appear really tired or unconscious.

          1. Fentanyl can absolutely induce respiratory distress.


            From the article-

            “Fentanyl does not reliably produce sedation or unconsciousness. It causes a dose-dependent effect on ventilation by decreasing the responsiveness to stimulatory effects of carbon dioxide.5 Chest wall and glottic rigidity have been reported with high-dose fentanyl, resulting in an inability to ventilate the patient.5,6,8 This complication occurs at much higher doses than used in the ED and with rapid infusion, but has not been reported in the ED.4,6,8 Maternal respiratory arrest associated with intravenous fentanyl use during labor has also been reported.”

            Keep in mind that this article is addressing the risks of low doses of fentanyl. According to the autopsy, Floyd had ingested a very large dose.

      2. I’m not a medical expert

        Should have stopped right there.

        1. Are you? Is the op?

      3. The prosecution has already established that GF had been clean for quite some time before this incident, so that undermines the tolerance thesis before it gets started.

    4. Ken. How can you say you have little doubt he was choked to death when the prosecutions own body cameras and witnesses show and discuss the knee being on Floyd’s shoulder blades, not on his neck? Chauvin is a whopping 140 lbs. Floyds lungs were 3x normal size at autopsy, a sign of a fentanyl OD. There is plenty of doubt that the cops caused him to choke to death.

      1. On the one hand, whether it was kneeling on his neck or kneeling on his shoulder, kneeling on him appears to have been the proximate cause of him choking to death–beyond a reasonable doubt.

        To the extent that fentanyl in George Floyd’s system contributed to his death, to my eye, that’s like a drunk driver running over a jaywalker. If you want to argue that the jaywalker contributed to his own death, I’ll agree to that, and I agree that when a drunk driver accidentally runs over somebody because they’re drunk, that isn’t intentional murder.

        I’m eliminating the murder charges from the equation because there is some reasonable doubt that this outcome would have happened if the jaywalker hadn’t been jaywalking. It isn’t as if the drunk driver drove up onto the sidewalk looking to run over the jaywalker on purpose.

        The drunk driver may not have been trying to run over the jaywalker, but the proximate cause of death is still the drunk driver running over the jaywalker.

        And the appropriate verdict in this case appears to be second-degree manslaughter, which doesn’t require intent, isn’t murder, and appears to clear the reasonable doubt requirement in all respects–regardless of whether the jaywalker had enough fentanyl in his bloodstream to contribute to his own death.

        1. In short, the level of fentanyl in George Floyd’s system at the time he stopped breathing introduces reasonable doubt. It’s enough reasonable doubt to dismiss every charge against Chauvin–except for the second-degree manslaughter charge. A unanimous jury is unlikely to ignore the level of fentanyl in Floyd’s system completely, and if we’re expecting a jury to come to a unanimous verdict, it’ll probably be on that charge.

        2. I think it’s an important distinction if Floyd’s fentanyl level contributed to his death, or was high enough to ensure it. He may have been a dead man walking before he ever encountered Chauvin. If not, then I agree at least an involuntary manslaughter conviction is in evidence.

        3. Ken

          None of the three charges requires proof of intent.

          1. We’re talking about mens rea–at the very least.

            Even the manslaughter charge requires the jury to conclude that the defendant willfully intended to harm Floyd, even if he didn’t necessarily intend to kill him.

            1. Third degree murder charge requires the prosecution to prove an act, eminently dangerous to others without regard for human life.

              The last half or third of the action in my view prove the latter.

              That three minutes or so when Floyd was under his knee, pulseless, flaccid, not breathing, not resisting. Those were the key to regard for human life.

        4. “On the one hand, whether it was kneeling on his neck or kneeling on his shoulder, kneeling on him appears to have been the proximate cause of him choking to death–beyond a reasonable doubt.

          In what universe does kneeling on the shoulder constitute the proximate cause of choking to death? The defense has already started to undermine many of these anatomically ignorant claims by showing that not only was the airway open, but not even his most vulnerable carotid artery was compressed, and he remained conscious long enough during the neck restraint to introduce even more doubt. And the defense has yet to present its case.

          1. In what universe does kneeling on the shoulder constitute the proximate cause of choking to death?

            In a universe in which one person remains kneeling on another person after the second person has stopped talking, and then later stopped moving, and then later stopped breathing, and then later stopped registering a pulse.

            1. Yes, and in that universe, I suppose their airway must be located in their shoulder for that to make the first bit of sense.

              1. You don’t necessarily have to constrict a person’s airway to impair their ability to breathe. Doing something that might restrict a person’s ability to inflate their lungs adequately could also cause said person to not receive enough oxygen to remain conscious, especially if they are in a state of panic and their demand for oxygen is higher than normal.

                And your assertion that Chauvin’s weight was only on Floyd’s shoulder is ludicrous.

                1. You most certainly do if you’re “choking” them.

                  “And your assertion that Chauvin’s weight was only on Floyd’s shoulder is ludicrous.”

                  Don’t believe me, believe the state’s own witnesses in this case.

              2. Dr. Tobin explained the mechanics of breathing in detail.

                In the simple terms anyone could understand he talked about the bucket and the water pump. The chest wall needs to move in two directions. It needs to go front to back and side to side.

                If you are down on the pavement and cannot move your arms you have lost one of those. If your chest wall is compressed laterally you have lost another. He spoke about the left lung as totally without function.

                The upper airway he spoke about is the hypo pharynx. Above the trachea. The trachea itself is better protected. It has rings of cartilage around it. The cervical spine behind all of it and the doctor talked about the nuchal ligament behind that.

                So if you have a combination of forces. Front to back with a hard surface beneath you, at times compression on your back. Then lateral compression on the left side which we saw. You also have compression above the level of the trachea which reduces airflow by a square of the diameter.

                Now a key piece of evidence you do not hear much about. At around halfway you see that Chauvin raises his foot up from the ground. Thus increasing the force on the front of the neck. Above the trachea. This went past the point where Floyd was resisting or even responding, pulseless and not breathing.

                All of those forces combined were the direct cause of death.

                Homicide as the medical examiner determined.

                1. Dr. Tobin did not examine Floyd. He only watched videos and had no way of making a professional judgment from that vantage point. He could not determine O2 sat (like he did), or the amount of pressure Chauvin exerted (like he did), or Floyd’s respiration rate (like he did) from a video. That’s just a fact. Expect the defense’s experts to rubbish these claims.

                  Given that the state began the case asserting that Chauvin’s knee what on the neck and thus constricting Floyd’s airway, and later had their witnesses cast doubt on this claim, the state is in trouble having another expert come in and make a claim contrary to their original assertions.

                  In each of the cases Tobin mentioned, there will be post-mortem evidence of such trauma. Their next witness, Baker (the ME), has since shown such trauma did not exist upon physical examination – something Tobin did not do.

                  The ME’s determination of homicide is meaningless, and questionable, considering he found no trauma and a fatal dose of fentanyl in Floyd’s system.

    5. “I have little doubt but that George Floyd was choked to death by the police.”

      Considering the disastrous testimony of the state’s own use of force experts earlier this week, reasonable doubt already exists that he was “choked” to death. It was so bad, the prosecution ended up saying “neck area” after their own guys’ trainwreck testimony.

      And that’s after any critical examination of the video and knowledge of anatomy leads an honest observer to wait until all of the evidence is presented before drawing any conclusions. Not to mention the autopsy performed by the state showed to trauma to the neck.

      1. no trauma to the neck*

    6. Autopsy said no damage to the trachea, so no choking.
      Want to try again?

      1. Lie down on an unyielding surface like concrete, have your wrists bound together behind your back, then have someone stack two 45lb. plates on your upper back and leave them there for a little more than nine minutes. I’m sure your trachea will suffer no bruising, but your ability to breathe might nonetheless suffer.

        1. Choking is blockage of the airway. That is not what happened here. When you say “choking” instead of “suffocation”, you give us the impression that you either don’t know what you are talking about – and refuse to learn – or are repeating a lie in the face of contradictory evidence.

    7. Is high concentration of fentanyl in the blood alone proof of overdose? Didn’t this article explain that other signs of overdose were missing, e.g. no coma?

  4. The socialists were strangling the economy (with the assistance of the banksters). Chauvin was reflecting their casual indifference back to us. And in response, people poured into the streets by the millions. We could breath again. For that reason he’ll be remembered as a hero regardless of the outcome of the trial.

    I’m not saying he did it consciously. But it wasn’t entirely unintentional either.

    As for Floyd, it would be interesting to know his position on the lockdowns. If he could work, he could have earned money and wouldn’t have to pass a conterfeit bill. So many people were either complicit or silent on the issue, and thus must take some responsibility for their predicament. It’s surprising how many libertarians instinctively rush to their defense.

    1. Is this some sort of bot?

      1. Let me guess – your state had no BLM demonstrations? Wow good for you.

        1. Mother’s Lament lives in a province, not a state. He sees more moose than he sees BLM or MAGA protestors.

          1. Yet he’s a friend to America. Not an enemy, like you.

  5. That conclusion is broadly consistent with the results of an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family. Forensic pathologists Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson said Floyd died from “mechanical asphyxia.”

    None of these “experts” ever actually examined the body. These are just ambulance chasing scumbags. Would you trust an autopsy given by people out of state?
    The Prosecution got their asses whipped today and Reason has not mentioned it yet.

    1. Right, and your going to believe the defense experts. Why? Are they any less guns for hire.

      The fact is Dr. Tobin was very convincing and from reports had the attention of the jury.

      1. Take from someone knowledgeable and interesting (i.e. not a reason writer):

      2. The defense experts aren’t potential defendants like most of the prosecution witnesses were.
        A lot of the policies Chauvin claims to have followed were put in place and mandated by the prosecution’s witnesses.

        1. The defense has yet to call anyone to testify. Everyone testifying so far has been brought in by the prosecution.

      3. No, I believe the Doctor that actually performed the autopsy. Tobin is a paid “expert”. He will say anything.

        1. He did not receive a dime.

      4. I will believe the original autopsy report finalized prior to the politics being involved.

  6. I’m all for police reform. But Reason, let’s report all sides. I know your journalists, and therefore retarded.

    1. Media shills. No journalism to see here. Or much of anywhere anymore.

  7. I heard a snarky comment earlier today: “Why does a guy whose life is worth $27 million have to stoop to buying cigarettes with counterfeit money?”

    1. He was not about to cheapen his worth by working and actually producing a legitimate income.

  8. For anyone who hasn’t, I highly recommend watching Tobin’s testimony in full, cross-examination included.

    1. I did and the prosecution could not have had a better witness. He has the level of understanding and ability to take a complicated subject, the physiology of the relationship between the lungs, chest, heart, and brain and break it down to a level a sixth grader could understand.

      He does not hedge when it comes to the death of George Floyd. This is someone who said that 40% of his patients die. He described concepts such as tidal volume, dead space, alveoli, the anatomy of the hypopharynx, and the mechanics of respiration and applied them with pinpoint precision.

      1. Yeah, if Chauvin is convicted, I would be willing to bet it came down to Tobin’s testimony yesterday. He was a great witness; he was very knowledgeable, was captivating to the jury, tore apart some of the defense’s key arguments, and he made Nelson look like a total fool in cross.

        Before yesterday, I thought the defense had a leg up on the prosecution. After yesterday, if I were Chauvin I’d take a deal at this point.

      2. Lol. The doctor who aimed drugs could have almost no effect on his breathing?? Youre tbe same guy that denied the prosecution is discounting the original autopsy report even when giving a link. Youre biased.

        1. You should deal with your own problems with bias. In many areas, not just this trial.

          1. Hi Jason! How’s life in Flagstaff with those owls and not women?

            1. ??

              Mary Stack 2.0?

            2. Oh, that’s right. He outed himself awhile back.

              Democrats are always so fucking stupid.

          2. Yes, repeating matters of fact makes one bias. Bias towards the truth.

      3. This witness only managed to accomplish the minimum of what the prosecution needed. He may not have hedged, but that doesn’t mean he was correct in his obviously limited assessment. He didn’t examine GF. He wasn’t on the scene. He looked at videos just like everyone else.

        The only thing truly noteworthy for the prosecution is that this testimony stopped the bleeding of their case, caused by the ruinous testimony of their Use of Force experts. Stopping the downward spiral of your case is not exactly a win.

      4. This is someone who said that 40% of his patients die.

        We’re going with the testimony of a doctor who freely admits that he loses nearly half of his patients? Bold strategy…

        1. How much time have you spent in the MICU?

  9. I’ve watched most of the trial and several YouTube legal analysts analyses, and there’s tons of reasonable doubt. The ME provided reasonable doubt, the police trainer provided reasonable doubt, and the video provided reasonable doubt.

    1. The police trainer saying Chauvin didn’t use maximum force by choosing to not use a taser was terrible for the prosecution.

      1. That’s silly. Whether Chauvin used a taser or not will have no bearing on the jury’s decision. It’s all about how he applied his knee and his intent while doing so.

    2. I agree. The fact that now on day 9 of the prosecution presenting their case they finally had a good day suggests the case against Chauvin is weak.

  10. This is a biased article with biased expert witnesses who are mercenaries. The restraints do not appear safe since they can cause respiratory and airway compromise. But there is strong evidence that this was not a homicide. Mr. Floyd complained of shortness of breath BEFORE restraint. He recently had Covid which can weaken the heart and lungs. And he had high amounts of both amphetamines and opiates, both of which can be lethal. They can counteract each other until they don’t. They may be variably absorbed. That may be why he didn’t show obvious signs of an opiate overdose initially. Police restraint may be contributory but it’s not certain.

    1. Mercenaries get paid.

      Neither Dr. Tobin nor Dr. Thomas, the forensic pathologist testifying right now were paid.

      1. Interesting. Nevertheless, their testimony seems biased. Perhaps its hubris/arrogance on their part. An honest medical perspective would acknowledge significant doubt as to the cause of death. Mr. Floyd’s symptoms prior to his restraint and the presence of potentially lethal amounts of drugs in his system clearly indicate this may not have been a homicide. One can acknowledge this while also noting that the restraints may have been unsafe and contributory. One can also acknowledge that police conduct may have been flawed with failure to use optimal deescalation, poor monitoring of the suspect’s condition and delayed rendering of aid. But these may not have violated police protocols and may not have caused the suspect’s death. At the very least, the suspect engaged in multiple behaviors that may have caused his death.

        1. So you are suggesting that Dr. Tobin and Dr. Thomas were dishonest in their testimony and evidence presented. They deliberately lied due to hubris/arrogance.

          Stretches the concept of reasonable doubt. These are very serious people. They have a level of credibility which the defense is not going to even question.

          Where defense is going to chip away is the level of uncertainty in any medical judgement or diagnosis. Defense made a mistake today in questioning Dr. Thomas which prosecution brought up again and had to rephrase. The Mrs. Lincoln ruse. Summary “Other than your husbands assassination how was you evening at the theater?”

          Defense tried to trap her in that hypothetical. She fell into it. The prosecution rescued her. She did not do herself favors by getting into a trap.

          Never let yourself get into a hypothetical. She did several times ask for the question to be restated. That is a good defense for her testimony.

    2. Yep. The evidence screams reasonable doubt.

  11. The expert demonstrated that a highly trained medical doctor, with years of specialty training and experience, sitting in a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office, with no distractions and taking notes, examining many videos taken from many angles frame by frame over a period of hours **might** reach a particular conclusion. How this helps the prosecution I have no idea.

    1. Did reach a particular conclusion.

      Fixed it.

  12. As the prosecution makes its case everyday should go as well for them as yesterday. Yet the prosecution has had more bad days then good, while they have control over the narrative. Perhaps the defense will collapse when they have the opportunity to present their case, but I doubt it.

  13. The “He was on drugs” defence plays well to a nation that’s been brainwashed by Drug War propaganda.

  14. Floyd had several drugs in is system including meth. Mixing drugs is very dangerous.

  15. The issuen with this case is that death can be a result of a number of factors, and it is impossible to know with certainty which of the factors was most important.

    Drugs, the tremendous stress and fear, the excessive length of time he was restrained, past cardiovascular health issues, all of these are like a cocktail mixture contributing to Floyd’s death.

    What I see are two camps, one who wants Chauvin to be guiilty and another which does not.

    1. Lots of factor can contribute to a death. Only one is the cause of death. If I push an old lady down the stairs, the fact that she had health conditions contribute to her death doesn’t somehow make me innocent.

  16. George Floyd’s scuffle with police, along with Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed into his neck, was too much for his underlying heart condition and caused the death of the 46-year-old Black man, the local county’s chief medical officer told a Minneapolis court on Friday.
    “The adrenaline is going to ask your body for more oxygen so that you can get through that altercation,” said Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Floyd and ruled his death to be a homicide.

  17. The nigger died from an overdose. Not from policemen or goblins or trolls.

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