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Medical Expert: Drugs, Heart Condition Didn't Kill Floyd

Judge rejects request to sequester jury
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2021 1:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – "I can state with a high degree of medical certainty that George Floyd did not die from a cardiac event and he did not die from an overdose," the latest medical expert to testify at the trial of Derek Chauvin said Monday. Dr. Jonathan Rich, a cardiologist testifying for the prosecution, described Floyd's death as "absolutely preventable," the Star Tribune reports. Rich said he treats patients who have used fentanyl and he saw no evidence that an overdose would have caused Floyd's death, as the former Minneapolis police officer's defense contends. The doctor also said that the "very relative low level" of methamphetamine in Floyd's system did not contribute to the death.

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Rich said he reviewed autopsy records, Floyd's medical records, and video of the arrest and saw no evidence that a heart condition contributed to the death. He said he believes Floyd's death was the result of low oxygen levels caused by the "prone restraint and positional asphyxia," and Floyd would have survived the encounter with police if he had not been restrained with Chauvin's knee on his neck for more than nine minutes. Judge Peter Cahill said Monday that instead of allowing more testimony on the subject, he will let jurors decide whether Floyd yelled "I ate too many drugs" or "I ain’t do no drugs" when he was on the ground, the AP reports. The judge also denied a defense request to sequester the jury following the death of a Black man shot by police in a Minneapolis suburb Sunday, per the New York Times. (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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