Medical examiner Andrew Baker, who conducted the autopsy on the body of African-American George Floyd, who died after being detained by police officers in May 2020, cited strangulation as the cause of the man’s death. The expert said this in court on Friday, April 9, according to the CBS television channel.
According to the autopsy report provided by Baker, Floyd died of cardiopulmonary arrest due to restraint and compression of the neck by law enforcement officers.
In the document, however, the examiner noted the African American’s comorbidities, including arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, and also recorded fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.
During the trial, Baker, when asked what exactly caused Floyd’s death, cited a severe heart condition. The expert noted that the deceased needed more oxygen due to his ailment. He noted that adrenaline causes the heart to beat faster during a conflict, which requires even more oxygen.
According to him, the actions of the police officer, who squeezed the detainee’s neck with his knee, “was just more than Mr. Floyd could handle because of these heart conditions.”
The trial of the African-American man’s death after the detention began March 8. At the time, pulmonologist Martin Tobin, brought in as an expert witness at the trial, expressed confidence that the man died from a lack of oxygen due to asphyxiation.
According to him, the lack of oxygen led to brain damage and also caused an arrhythmia that stopped the African American’s heart.
The specialist also noted that Floyd’s respiratory rate was within normal limits, according to the video, so the effects of some of the drugs he may have been taking had no effect on respiratory function.
Also testifying in court was Bradford Wankid Langenfield, a medic who was attempting to assist Floyd when he was brought to the hospital. He also noted that the cause of death was probably a lack of oxygen. He suggested, however, that the lack of oxygen could also have been caused by some of the drugs Floyd was taking.
The defendant in the case is former police officer Derek Chauvin, who used a chokehold while arresting Floyd. The defendant is charged with manslaughter. If the ex-cop is found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.