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Witness for Derek Chauvin’s Defense Claims George Floyd Died of Heart Disease, Drugs and Car Fumes

HeadlineApr 15, 2021

A few miles south of Brooklyn Center, the murder trial of Derek Chauvin continues today with speculation growing over whether the former Minneapolis police officer will take the stand in his own defense. On Wednesday, a forensic pathologist called by Chauvin’s lawyers testified that George Floyd died of heart trouble — rather than a lack of oxygen. Dr. David Fowler, the former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, dismissed an official autopsy report that found Floyd died of cardiopulmonary arrest due to restraint and neck compression.

Video of Floyd’s death shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes — including for several minutes after Floyd stopped responding. But Dr. Fowler claimed Floyd died from a combination of heart disease, drug use and tailpipe emissions from a police cruiser.

Dr. David Fowler: “There is exposure to a vehicle exhaust, so potentially carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Under cross-examination, Dr. Fowler admitted there was no evidence of carbon monoxide in George Floyd’s blood. He also conceded that George Floyd should have been given medical attention — and might have survived if officers had rendered aid.

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