Lack of oxygen from police restraint killed Floyd, doctor testifies at Chauvin murder trial

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MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – A critical care doctor called as a prosecution witness in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial testified on Thursday that George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen caused by being handcuffed face down in the street with the former Minneapolis police officer’s knee on his neck.

“Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen,” Dr. Martin Tobin, who treats patients in a Chicago hospital’s intensive care unit, told the jury, confirming the county medical examiner’s finding that Floyd’s death was a homicide at the hands of police.

Using anatomical diagrams and excerpts from videos of the arrest, Tobin said the medical evidence contradicted Chauvin’s assertion that Floyd may have died from a drug overdose, and that any “healthy person” would have died in a similar restraint, which Tobin compared to a vice.

Video of the arrest, widely viewed on social media, showed Chauvin, who is white, pinning Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knees for more than nine minutes as Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, begged for his life, gasping more than two dozen times: “I can’t breathe.” Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges.

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