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Medical Expert Testifies George Floyd Died from Lack of Oxygen, Not Fentanyl

HeadlineApr 09, 2021

A warning to our audience: Our top story contains graphic footage and descriptions of police violence. In Minneapolis, a medical expert called by the prosecution in former police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial testified Thursday that George Floyd died from a “lack of oxygen” — not from the drug fentanyl, as alleged by the defense. Pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin estimated Floyd’s airways were 85% restricted as he was caught in a “vise” between the hard asphalt and Chauvin’s knee for over nine minutes, face down and handcuffed, repeatedly gasping “I can’t breathe” before falling silent. 

Dr. Martin Tobin: “At the beginning, you can see he’s conscious. You can see slight flickering. And then it disappears. So, one second he’s alive, and one second he’s no longer. … That’s the moment the life goes out of his body.”

Dr. Tobin testified that, based on a telltale kick of his leg, George Floyd appeared to suffer brain damage five minutes after Derek Chauvin first pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. Dr. Tobin said Chauvin continued to press Floyd into the pavement for more than three minutes after Floyd’s last breath.

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