Forensic Pathologist Says Activities of Law Enforcement Resulted in George Floyd’s Death

Author : ptejengko
Publish Date : 2021-04-10 07:30:58
Forensic Pathologist Says Activities of Law Enforcement Resulted in George Floyd’s Death

The forensic pathology expert said she reviewed a lot of material and came to 'an independent conclusion' about the 'cause and manner of death.'

A FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST testified at the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin that "activities by the law enforcement agency officers" resulted in George Floyd's death.

The pathologist, Dr. Lindsey Thomas, said the "subdual, restraint and compression" of Chauvin, who has been charged in the death of Floyd, was "ultimately" the immediate cause of death.

Friday marked the 10th day of testimony in the trial of Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Political Cartoons on Protests Against Racism

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When asked by the prosecution to explain what "subdual restraint and neck compression" mean, Thomas elaborated:

"Those were activities by the law enforcement agency officers involved. Subdual is subduing someone, trying to restrain them. In Mr. Floyd's case, involved handcuffing him, his positioning on the ground, the prone position. The people kneeling on him. And the net compression is the knee on the neck specifically. Additionally, there was some back and other things being compressed by the officers."

Thomas continued, saying the "primary mechanism" of Floyd's death was "asphyxia or low oxygen."

"This is not a sudden cardiac death, a sudden cardiac arrhythmia. This is a death where both the heart and lungs stopped working. And the point is that it's due to law enforcement subdual, restraint and compression. That is kind of what ultimately is the immediate cause of death," Thomas added.

Adding all those factors together, Thomas said, "what it means to me is that the activities of the law enforcement officers resulted in Mr. Floyd's death."

She added that a "secondary mechanism" was at play in Floyd's death, what she called "physiologic stress."

"It's that kind of fear of life that I'm talking about for physiologic stress," she said. A person's muscles and heart need more oxygen, they need to take more breaths and they experience an increase in adrenaline and blood pressure.

"All of those physical things, those chemical things, can cause reactions in the body that put additional stress primarily on your heart but also on all of your body systems," Thomas elaborated.

[ PHOTOS: Powerful Images from the Civil Rights Movement Echo Today's George Floyd Protests ]
She called it a "double whammy" to Floyd, stating he was "already in a position where he was experiencing difficulty breathing and getting enough oxygen in his body."

Thomas said she reviewed a lot of material and came to "an independent conclusion" about what she thought was the "cause and manner of death." She ruled out drugs as a factor in Floyd's death, explaining that his death was not "sudden" like one would experience with methamphetamine, nor was it slow like one would experience with fentanyl.

While forensic pathologists do not directly treat people, Thomas described her field of expertise as "a branch of pathology, [a] branch of medicine, where medicine and law overlap."

"As I practice, and as most forensic pathologists practice, [it] involves what's called, medical legal, death investigation," she said. "We don't directly treat patients. But we provide information to doctors who then do treat patients."

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Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer

Alexa Lardieri is a reporter and digital producer for the Civic section of U.S. News & World ...  READ MORE

Tags: racism, Minneapolis, Minnesota, police

The forensic pathology expert said she reviewed a lot of material and came to 'an independent conclusion' about the 'cause and manner of death.'

A FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST testified at the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin that "activities by the law enforcement agency officers" resulted in George Floyd's death.

The pathologist, Dr. Lindsey Thomas, said the "subdual, restraint and compression" of Chauvin, who has been charged in the death of Floyd, was "ultimately" the immediate cause of death.

Friday marked the 10th day of testimony in the trial of Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Political Cartoons on Protests Against Racism

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When asked by the prosecution to explain what "subdual restraint and neck compression" mean, Thomas elaborated:

"Those were activities by the law enforcement agency officers involved. Subdual is subduing someone, trying to restrain them. In Mr. Floyd's case, involved handcuffing him, his positioning on the ground, the prone position. The people kneeling on him. And the net compression is the knee on the neck specifically. Additionally, there was some back and other things being compressed by the officers."

Thomas continued, saying the "primary mechanism" of Floyd's death was "asphyxia or low oxygen."

"This is not a sudden cardiac death, a sudden cardiac arrhythmia. This is a death where both the heart and lungs stopped working. And the point is that it's due to law enforcement subdual, restraint and compression. That is kind of what ultimately is the immediate cause of death," Thomas added.

Adding all those factors together, Thomas said, "what it means to me is that the activities of the law enforcement officers resulted in Mr. Floyd's death."

She added that a "secondary mechanism" was at play in Floyd's death, what she called "physiologic stress."

"It's that kind of fear of life that I'm talking about for physiologic stress," she said. A person's muscles and heart need more oxygen, they need to take more breaths and they experience an increase in adrenaline and blood pressure.

"All of those physical things, those chemical things, can cause reactions in the body that put additional stress primarily on your heart but also on all of your body systems," Thomas elaborated.

[ PHOTOS: Powerful Images from the Civil Rights Movement Echo Today's George Floyd Protests ]
She called it a "double whammy" to Floyd, stating he was "already in a position where he was experiencing difficulty breathing and getting enough oxygen in his body."

Thomas said she reviewed a lot of material and came to "an independent conclusion" about what she thought was the "cause and manner of death." She ruled out drugs as a factor in Floyd's death, explaining that his death was not "sudden" like one would experience with methamphetamine, nor was it slow like one would experience with fentanyl.

While forensic pathologists do not directly treat people, Thomas described her field of expertise as "a branch of pathology, [a] branch of medicine, where medicine and law overlap."

"As I practice, and as most forensic pathologists practice, [it] involves what's called, medical legal, death investigation," she said. "We don't directly treat patients. But we provide information to doctors who then do treat patients."

Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer

Alexa Lardieri is a reporter and digital producer for the Civic section of U.S. News & World ...  READ MORE

Tags: racism, Minneapolis, Minnesota, police



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