"My opinion remains unchanged," claimed Dr. Andrew Baker, that ruled George Floyd's fatality a homicide. "It's what I placed on the fatality certificate last June."

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Medical examiner that performed George Floyd's autopsy come testify in Chauvin trial

April 9, 202102:50
The medical examiner who ruled George Floyd"s fatality a homicide testified Friday that Floyd"s heart disease and drug use contributed to his death, but police officers" restraint the his body and also compression of his neck to be the main causes.

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Dr. Andrew Baker, who has been the chief clinical examiner in Hennepin County due to the fact that 2004, stated Floyd had actually severe basic heart an illness and one enlarged heart the needed much more oxygen than normal to function, and narrowing the his coronary arteries.


Baker go not incorporate a lack of oxygen, or asphyxia, together a cause of Floyd"s death. Baker claimed that prior to he performed the autopsy, the was mindful that Floyd had become unconscious if he remained in police custody and also had died at a hospital. He claimed he did not look at videos of Floyd"s death, consisting of the bystander video that go viral, until after the autopsy to be complete, therefore as no to be biased in his findings.

Baker"s findings were at odds v those of other prosecution professional witnesses that were clearly in their assessments the Floyd died from asphyxia.

"In this case, I believe the major mechanism of fatality is asphyxia, or short oxygen," claimed Dr. Lindsay Thomas, that retired in 2017 indigenous the Hennepin County clinical Examiner"s Office in Minneapolis.

She said she reached that conclusion mostly from video that verified Floyd struggling come breathe.


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She testified Friday that she trained Baker and that they to be friends. Thomas said she agreed through Baker the Floyd passed away from cardiopulmonary arrest — the ceasing that heart and lung duty — facility by the means law enforcement organized him down and also compressed his neck.


The testimony native Thomas, a medical examiner of 37 years who works part time together a forensic pathologist in Salt Lake City and also Reno, Nevada, and also that of other specialists Thursday, bolstered the prosecutors" arguments that Chauvin killed Floyd by kneeling ~ above him because that 9 minutes, 29 seconds.

When Thomas and also Baker testified, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell listed autopsy photographs that Floyd"s body to jurors. The photos to be not presented publicly.

Chauvin"s attorney, Eric Nelson, has actually said Floyd can have passed away from a heart condition or the fentanyl and methamphetamine that were uncovered in his system.

The testimony from number of medical specialists this week listed the first opportunity to hear how Nelson would certainly argue that central point the the defense.


He did that in part, ~ above Friday, by posing hypothetical situations to the two clinical examiners. That asked Thomas and Baker exactly how they would have assessed Floyd"s cause of death if the only info they had was either that drugs were uncovered in his device or that he had heart disease, scenarios that would ignore the officers" restraint of Floyd and Chauvin"s knee top top his neck.


Under cross-examination, Baker agreed with Nelson"s statement the Floyd"s heart disease, small arteries and also drug usage "played a role" in Floyd"s death, but he testified that those things did not directly cause him to die.

"Mr. Floyd"s use of fentanyl walk not reason the subdual or neck restraint," Baker said. "His heart condition did not reason the subdual or the neck restraint."


Thomas testified the such components did not directly cause Floyd"s death and that castle are commonly included on fatality certificates because that a "public wellness purpose."


Under redirect by prosecutor Blackwell, who asked Baker what his opinion is regarding Floyd"s cause of death, Baker affirmed his findings that Floyd"s death was a homicide.

"My opinion stays unchanged," Baker claimed as his testimony concluded. "It"s what I placed on the death certificate critical June. That"s cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression."

"That to be my optimal line then," he added. "It would continue to be my peak line now."

Blackwell inquiry him even if it is he considered the various other contributing problems as direct causes of Floyd"s death, and Baker said, "They are not direct reasons of Mr. Floyd"s death, that"s true. They are contributing causes."


In previously testimony, other medical professionals doubted Floyd"s physical condition and his usage of illegal medicine played a role in his death.

Dr. Boy name Tobin, a pulmonologist and crucial care physician in Chicago, additionally rejected the defense"s insurance claims Thursday that Floyd"s medicine use and underlying health conditions killed him. Tobin said a lack of oxygen result in brain damage and caused Floyd"s heart to stop.


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"A healthy person based on what Mr. Floyd was based on would have actually died," claimed Tobin, a lung and crucial care specialist in ~ the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital and also Loyola University"s clinical school in Illinois.


Tobin claimed Floyd"s breathing was seriously constricted when Chauvin and also two various other Minneapolis police policemans restrained him. He stated Chauvin"s knee to be on Floyd"s neck for an ext than 90 percent the the time.

Chauvin is on attempt on charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Police were referred to as to Cup Foods, a convenience store, on may 25 after ~ a cashier suspected the Floyd had used a fake $20 invoice to buy cigarettes. A bystander video clip of Floyd, that was Black, speak he couldn"t breathe together onlookers yelled in ~ Chauvin, that is white, to gain off him to be uploaded to Facebook and widely viewed. That sparked global protests.

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For the very first time, a chair designated for a member the Chauvin"s household was populated Friday, through a woman, according to a reporter in the courtroom. Her identity was not instantly known. Chauvin"s wife filed for divorce soon after Floyd"s death.