A forensic medicine expert has told the jury in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial that when George Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe, he was exhibiting the desperation of air hunger.
Building on the testimony from other prosecution witnesses earlier on Thursday, Dr William Smock was asked to give his medical opinion on George Floyd’s cause of death.
Dr William Smock beat down any other suggestions, saying that George Floyd died from positional asphyxia, which he said was a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen left in his body.
He said that when the body is stripped of oxygen, in this case from pressure on his chest and back, he slowly succumbed to lower and lower levels of oxygen until he died.
Dr William Smock said that he’d considered and excluded other causes including the defences causes of choice – fentanyl overdose and excited delirium.
One by one, he described the symptoms of excited delirium, including extreme sweating, being unaffected by pain and superhuman strength, and dismissed them, pointing out that George Floyd was cold to the touch, complaining of pain from the time he was on the ground and unable to force the police officer from his back.
Questioned by prosecutors how many of the ten identified symptoms he observed, Dr William Smock replied: ‘Zip’.
He rejected fentanyl overdose as a likely cause of death because he said, George Floyd was not falling into a coma, snoring, or slowing down in breathing.
He was, instead, fighting for his life and demonstrating air hunger as he fought to breathe.
He pointed to George Floyd’s weakening voice as evidence that the life was draining from him and recognised George Floyd’s fading moments in his altering facial expressions and anoxic seizure when his legs kicked out straight behind him.
Dr William Smock revealed that since George Floyd was a habitual drug user, the levels of drugs and their metabolites detected in his bloodstream meant precious little, and he said that you don’t rely on the level, you look at the patient.
The defence has pointed to the fact that there was no bruising on George Floyd’s neck and throat post mortem as proof that Chauvin’s knee didn’t dig into him until the life was squeezed out of him, but Dr William Smock, who’s also a specialist in strangulation, said that you can be fatally strangled and die of asphyxia and have no bruising, and this recent testimony is not looking good for Chauvin, and I’m sure he will be extremely popular in prison.
George Floyd was complaining that he couldn’t breathe all through the arrest and there’s video evidence. But the post-mortem says different, and opinion outside of the facts does not matter, it’s the science that does because science tells us the story of what occurred.
And eventually, he wasn’t calling out because he’d stopped breathing, but DC wouldn’t have known because he failed to do the most fundamental of life-saving skills, like check for a pulse.
There are these things called arteries, which when collapsed, will not allow enough blood to flow to move the oxygen in the bloodstream into the brain and other organs.
The airway is central, and the arteries are closer to the surface of the neck.
Oxygen exchange is the reason why we have lungs, and when lungs are unable to expand because grown men are stacked on top of your back, that process is considerably diminished until it’s halted with each fleeting breath, because each time they lose expansion rate – did no one else pay attention to basic biology in class?