Medical experts testify during the George Floyd murder trial, issuing shattering evidence against the defense’s case.
By Annika Henthorn
After its third week of testimony, Derek Chauvin’s trial is beginning to come to a close. He is currently faced with three charges, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges, according to NBC. This week, NPR has revealed that prosecutors have been fixated on the testimony of medical experts, tirelessly working to prove that the death of George Floyd was caused by Derek Chauvin.
Dr. Jonathon Rich, a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, testified this week, arguing that "Mr. George Floyd died from a cardiopulmonary arrest. It was caused by low oxygen levels. And those low oxygen levels were induced by the prone restraint and positional asphyxiation that he was subjected to.” This has been affirmed through Floyd’s autopsy, medical records, and careful analysis of the video recording of Chauvin suffocating Floyd, according to NPR.
Many people have argued his death is linked to a heart event or drug overdose. However, according to NPR, Dr. Jonathon Rich can “state with a high degree of medical certainty that George Floyd did not die from a primary cardiac event and he did not die from a drug overdose." These potential factors that arose in the media had no influence in the death of George Floyd, the primary cause was Derek Chauvin.
Dr. Rich has ruled out the possibility of a drug overdose through meticulous analysis and observation of the videos that surfaced in the media and his medical records. He has said that many of the symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, like lethargy or slurred speaking, were not exhibited in George Floyd. Although there were traces of methamphetamine in his system, Dr. Rich believes it “played no substantive role” in his death.
Not only has it been reiterated by medical experts that George Floyd’s death was caused by Derek Chauvin, Dr. Rich has also claimed that “Mr. George Flyod’s death was absolutely preventable.” He continues to discuss the ways in which the officers, after hearing Floyd deliberately struggle for air, could have helped. One of the ways the officers could have assisted Floyd was by placing him in recovery positions to aid in his breathing. He goes on to say that if it weren’t for the disturbing and detrimental actions of Derek Chauvin, Dr. Rich “belive[d] he would have lived.”
Melanie Moyer '22,