Medical expert says police restraint killed George Floyd

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A medical expert at the trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin has said that the activities of law enforcement officers resulted in George Floyd's death, according to the BBC.

Chauvin is on trial for murder, having been filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for nine minutes last May, and forensic pathologist Lindsey Thomas' review of Floyd's autopsy, medical reports and other materials on behalf of the prosecution concluded that he died because of a lack of oxygen.

The BBC reported Thomas as saying: "It's a death where both the heart and lungs stopped working" and further: "In this case, I believe the primary mechanism of death is asphyxia, or low oxygen."

Medical examiner Andrew Michael Baker, who performed the post-mortem examination of Floyd, agreed with Thomas' findings more generally, saying Floyd died as a result of his encounter with police, not because of drug use or heart disease.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Police officers kneel on George Floyd. Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck
2. Carotid restraint demonstration with internal visualisation of neck
3. Chokehold demonstration with internal visualisation of neck
4. Side-on angle of police kneeling on George Floyd

VOICEOVER (in English):
"A medical expert at the trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin has said that the activities of law enforcement officers resulted in George Floyd's death, according to the BBC."

"Chauvin is on trial for murder, having been filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for nine minutes last May, and forensic pathologist Dr Lindsey Thomas' review of Floyd's autopsy, medical reports and other materials on behalf of the prosecution concluded that he died because of a lack of oxygen."

"The Atlantic names two types of neck restraint used by U.S. police. The first is a carotid restraint, known as the stranglehold, sleeper hold, or blood choke. Here, applying pressure to the carotid arteries in the neck temporarily stops blood flow to the brain. As a result, the person becomes unconscious, but can still breathe."

"Police also use what is known as a chokehold. In this instance, pressure is applied to the windpipe, in the middle of the neck, so that the person can't breathe. This position prevents the lungs from being able to take in oxygen."

"The latter hold is not allowed by most large police departments, according to the Atlantic, but appears to correspond with Thomas' analysis of Floyd's death. The BBC reported her saying 'It's a death where both the heart and lungs stopped working' and she added that 'In this case, I believe the primary mechanism of death is asphyxia, or low oxygen'. Medical examiner Dr Andrew Michael Baker, who performed the post-mortem examination of Floyd, agreed with Dr Thomas' findings more generally, saying Floyd died as a result of his encounter with police, not because of drug use or heart disease."

SOURCES: BBC, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Al Jazeera
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56682357
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/why-many-large-police-departments-tolerate-their-officers-using-neck-holds/458079/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/6/2/george-floyd-state-private-autopsies-agree-death-a-homicide