George Floyd died from lack of oxygen, not fentanyl, says expert

George Floyd died from lack of oxygen, not fentanyl, says expert
The death of George Floyd sparked protests around the world. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Dr Martin Tobin at the trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, has said George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen during his arrest. Contradicting the defence, the doctor said fentanyl did not cause Mr Floyd’s death, adding that seven a “healthy person…would have died”.

Mr Chauvin, a 45-year-old white police officer, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.

The officer was later fired from his post and is on trial for murder Mr Floyd, a black American, and has denied the charges against him.

The footage of Mr Chauvin with his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck sparked global protests against racism.

The trial of Mr Chauvin is in its second week and is expected to last for at least one month. The defence is due to begin arguing its case in court next week.

A toxicology report released last June said that George Floyd had the drug methamphetamine and painkiller fentanyl in his system.

Since then, Mr Chauvin’s lawyers have argued that the fentanyl caused Mr Floyd’s loss of oxygen.

However Dr Tobin said that Mr Floyd’s breathing did not slow down enough for the painkiller to have been a factor in his total loss of oxygen.

Forensic toxicologist Daniel Isenschmid, whose laboratory tested Mr Floyd’s urine and blood samples following his death, said there was evidence that some of the fentanyl had metabolised, which means that an overdose was less likely.

The defence also questioned Kentucky police surgeon Dr Bill Smock, who is an expert in forensic emergency medicine.

Dr Smock said George Floyd displayed “air hunger”, a term for when the body becomes desperate for oxygen.

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