Prosecutors Ask Jurors To Dismiss George Floyd Autopsy Findings

I previously wrote that the key to conviction in the Derek Chauvin trial (and avoiding a cascading failure in all four cases) is the autopsy findings and the role of drugs (including fentanyl) in the body of George Floyd. Prosecutors are now asking the jury to effectively dismiss the findings of the only official autopsy in the case and insist, contrary to those findings, that Floyd died from asphyxia, or, lack of oxygen. Some new disclosures may make that claim more difficult for the prosecution.

Last week, special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell admitted to jurors that Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker pointed to cardiac arrest as Floyd’s cause of death. However, he insisted that the state would prove that “was … not a fatal heart event,” but asphyxiation.

It is a bold move since it could invite reasonable doubt on the cause of death.  The question is whether a case of manslaughter could have been advanced without the need of opposing the state’s own coroner on such findings. The failure of Chauvin to respond to a medical emergency speaks more to manslaughter than murder but it could be framed consistently with these findings. Instead, the prosecution has asked the jury to effectively reject the coroner’s findings — a risky maneuver.

We have previously discussed key defense elements in the case:

Conversely, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, sounds more like the typical prosecutor noting that there is only one official autopsy and one official report on the cause of death. He told the jury “Dr. Baker found none of what are referred to as the telltale signs of asphyxiation. There was no evidence that Mr. Floyd’s airflow was restricted and he did not determine [it] to be a positional or mechanical asphyxia death.”

Nelson can rely on other aspects of the official record. When Baker went over findings in a meeting last December with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, he specifically noted that the knee restraint was not likely to produce asphyxiation:  “[I]t appeared to Dr. Baker that the pressure to the neck was coming from the back or posterior lateral portions of the back, and none of these strictures would impact breathing or cause loss of consciousness,” said a document summarizing the meeting.”  He noted a study that found that placing 200 pounds of weight or more on a healthy person did not have an “observable impact on breathing.”

Instead, Baker cited the drugs in the system as well as the 75-80% narrowing of coronary arteries that “put him at risk for a sudden cardiac arrest.” The record of the meeting states “Dr. Baker offered that one possibility for the pathway of Floyd’s death is that Floyd’s heart was starting to fail because of the stress, drugs, enlarged heart, and [heart] disease . . . He said that once the heart starts to fail … one of the symptoms is the perception that you cannot breathe.”

After those findings were released, Baker’s office had to be put under police protections due to threats to him and his staff.

By focusing the jury on the autopsy report, and asking them to effectively dismiss the conclusions of the only official report, the prosecutors increase the chances of a hung jury and even an acquittal. I previously expressed reservations about the push for murder charges because the case is better suited for a manslaughter case. If a jury feels the prosecutors have over-charged a case, it can produce a loss of credibility in the case. When you add an argument to dismiss the state’s own autopsy findings, you risk magnifying such skepticism or mistrust with jury members.

380 thoughts on “Prosecutors Ask Jurors To Dismiss George Floyd Autopsy Findings”

  1. “Calling Chauvin a “Bad Apple” Denies Systemic Nature of Racist Police Violence”

    https://truthout.org/articles/calling-chauvin-a-bad-apple-denies-systemic-nature-of-racist-police-violence/

    “But many Minneapolis police officers receive “Killology training” through the police union, where they are taught to kill rather than de-escalate conflict situations. This training violates the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which require officers to, “as far as possible,” use nonviolent techniques before resorting to force and firearms.”

    https://inquirycommission.org/video-and-transcript-george-floyd-hearing-monday-january-25-international-commission-of-inquiry/

    1. The aforementioned article is by Marjorie Cohn.

      “Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and a member of the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.”

    2. “Killology training”

      Criminal-huggers are worried about police overreaction.

      Meanwhile, politicians surrender police stations to armed thugs. Mayors and governors stand down while their cities are torched and looted. Police are fired and prosecuted for doing their jobs. Police are treated by politicians as human piñatas.

      And there’s the predictable consequence: Crime and murder are skyrocketing.

  2. This BLACK person died, because …
    Blacks are more prone to drug themselves, for whatever reason.

    Had Chauvin been black, had Floyd just been sitting on that bench outside, whatever …
    he still would have died – from Fentanyl, CoVid, weak heart, enlarged, fluid-filed lungs, whatever.
    He was a drug addict. That was effectively the end of a long-term suicide.

    Lousy the behaviour of the DEM “prosecutor”.

  3. Hegelian Dialectic: https://www.survivewithwill.com/2017/12/29/hegelian-dialectic-manipulating-people-power-profit-2/

    Problem – Reaction – Solution Paradigm

    The government creates or exploits a problem then attributes blame to others.

    The populace reacts by asking the government for protection and help to solve the problem.

    The government offers the solution that was planned by them long before the crisis occurred.

    Outcome: Rights and liberties are exchanged for the illusion of protection and help.

  4. I have posted this idea before, but let’s consider my hypothesis again, to wit, The Woke Democrat/Left has a bad case of Muchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy when it comes to dark-skinned peoples. The Woke Left is so mentally ill that they will make victims of dark-skinned people so that they can play the Savior of Black People, the Neo-Freedom “Writers” bravely confronting the Ku Klux Klan, without ever having to hop in a car and head to Alabama and Mississippi.

    Hence, a black thug who was banging Poor George Zimmerman’s head into a concrete sidewalk, becomes St. Trayvon, The Unarmed – in spite of being armed with a concrete sidewalk. Michael Brown becomes a “murder victim” after he attacked a cop and tried to get his gun. And George Floyd, chuggin’ full of Fentanyl and Meth, becomes a victim simply due to the optic of being restrained by white cops.

    The Woke Left will grub up anyone they can to advance their delusions, and I submit that they are worse than the Nazi’s and their Horst Wessel Affair. Because I think the Nazis were opportunistic and did not believe their own propaganda. But I think there are many Democrats who surpass mere opportunism and grift, and they actually believe the bullsh!t they propagate. Their has to be an “Oppressed Black Population” so they can play the role of the mommy who sacrifices all for their sick child, while, when no one is looking, smothers the kid with a pillow.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  5. This entire overblown charade surrounding Floyd’s death is a perfect example of the ruling class (aka/ politicians) using a single incident to further divide the populace for their own personal gain.

    Charles Barkley spoke to that perfectly last weekend.

    “We’re So Stupid Following Our Politicians” – Charles Barkley Unleashes One Minute Of Truth On America”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/were-so-stupid-following-our-politicians-charles-barkley-unleashes-one-minute-truth

    “I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people, but we’re so stupid following our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.

    I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power.

    Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods, we all got money, let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other, let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other, let’s scramble the middle class.”

  6. Drug head!
    Call him drug head!
    What…kind..of people call him drug head?
    Smart folks. Beyond a reasonable doubt folks …kids who climb on rocks

  7. No way a man can take a knee on another mans neck while handcuffed and justify it.
    Put yourself in that position, how long would you last?
    Drugs may or even probably a part of what happened that day but it does not justify what when down.
    No person is the judge and executioner in today’s world and gets away with it.
    Chauvin’s going to pay for what he did.

      1. The official autopsy report showing drug overdose and no sign of asphyxiation is one major element of proof. The police training records showing the knee technique as an approved technique is another element of proof.
        Chauvin was acting in full accordance with the policies created by the democrat chain of command: mayor, city council, police commission, and police chief.

    1. @Texasaaa Utter rubbish. Watch the whole video – Floyd’ head was free to move about under the restraining knee, clearly showing that his breathing was not obstructed in any way. He was acting out in a psychotic event, the officers followed their training. The only executioner was Floyd himself, and these officers should sue the family for every cent the crooked Democrat city officials awarded them and millions more for the REAL harm done to the police officers’ reputations in the twisting of Floyd’s suicide into a political weapon.

      When you act like a psycho, you do in fact deserve to be treated like one.

    2. “the restraint using an officer’s knee on an uncooperative suspect was part of the training of officers, and jurors will watch training videotapes employing the same type of restraint as official policy.”

      The entire democrat infrastructure of police, police commission, city council, and mayor, justify the knee technique. This will be a problem for the Chauvin haters.

    3. First responders are taught to keep a victim laying down. The idea is to slow the spread of the drugs in their system and relieve strain on the heart. That is EXACTLY what the officers did while waiting on the ambulance.

    4. @Txassaaa

      Clearly you lack experience in dealing with someone who is resisting arrest.
      And you seem to ignore the medical facts which are not in dispute.

      Simply put, Floyd was already dying before Chauvin got to the scene. Based on video and eye witness accounts, Floyd was in cardiac distress and going into cardiac arrest before Chauvin took him down.

      What Chauvin did would be cause for termination, but not murder.

      The knee to the neck did not cause the asphyxiation / strangulation. Had Chauvin placed his body weight on Floyd’s chest or stood on Floyd’s back, that would have quickened his death. But not a knee to the back of the neck.

      The medical autopsy performed by the state clears Chauvin. I suspect that the prosecution may call the private pathologist to rebut the state’s pathology report but that would be a mistake.

    5. @Texasaaa – “Chauvin’s going to pay for what he did.”

      But, I thought this was America–where “[n]o person is the judge and executioner in today’s world and gets away with it.” Have you completed the trifecta and also appointed yourself the jury?

  8. The cause of death is listed as CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST COMPLICATING LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBDUAL, RESTRAINT, AND NECK COMPRESSION

    That means his death was determined by the pathologist to be caused by the actions of law enforcement, hence it was a homicide, not a natural death.

    The confusion it that the cause of death is listed as CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST rather than ASPHYXIATION.

    This confusion may be due to the thought in the forensic medicine that (at least some) deaths previously attributed to “positional asphyxia” may actually be better labeled as being caused by “prone restraint cardiac arrest” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33629624/). The idea is that prolonged prone restraint causes a decrease in blood oxygen and a build up of lactic acid that cause the heart to stop beating (“arrest”). This is different from “positional asphyxia” where factors such as body position and external pressure prevent one mechanically from breathing. Regardless, the manner of death is homicide, meaning his death was caused by the police, not natural causes.

    1. You misunderstand what the word “complicating” means. In the FBI 302 it is reported that the ME said specifically what he meant by that was that Floyd died during, after OR as a result of the actions by officers. No necessary implication of causality. He also is reported to have said that the stress induced by the struggle with officers PRIOR TO having been put on the ground may have contributed to his death.

      1. Yes, when you commit suicide by overdose then exerting yourself can accelerate your death. Not the cops’ problem – they had a psycho acting out, and restrained him for the protection of themselves and the community.

      1. The prosecution appears to be arguing for “positional” asphyxiation. This would not necessarily leave any physical evidence and so could be consistent with the ME’s observations. Hard to see, however, how this possibility amounts to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The other argument the prosecution appears to be setting up is that Chauvin was required to have either ended his restraint earlier than he did or to have himself provided medical care, and that his failure to do so allowed Floyd to die. Again, hard to see how this can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

  9. Nobody cares. The dead guy’s black. The cop’s white. They’ll either hang him in court, or hang him after in the black urban riots. Black privilege.

  10. @Turley: you wrote: “However, it should be noted that the Mayo Clinic report also addresses “Non-heart-related (non cardiogenic) pulmonary edema” and “Negative pressure pulmonary edema,” which could be used to support the prosecution’s theory.”

    Uhm… did you actually read the Mayo Clinic article?
    Based on what you reported… Floyd suffered from both cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema outside of any restraint was used. (restraint would be the cause of negative pressure pulmonary edema. )

    In short if you do a timeline of the event… Floyd was already in cardiac distress … cardiac arrest before being restrained by Chauvin. In short, he was already dying. So no… negative pressure pulmonary edema wouldn’t help the prosecution’s case. We already have video footage and audio that would help the defense.

  11. “It’s the [venue], stupid!”

    – James Carville
    _____________

    2. Venue Change From Santa Monica to Downtown LA

    Bugliosi is livid about this in Outrage. He has a good right to be. This was a shady, shady deal. Bugliosi pins this on a political move by the LA County Da, Gil Garcetti, who Bugliosi greases as a political hack of the lowest form.

    Bugliosi may be right, or he may be wrong, about DA Garcetti’s character. But the decision to venue change from the suburban crime scene jurisdiction of Santa Monica to the urban downtown core of the City of Angeles was a fatal move. The juror gene pool racial demographics of inner LA compared to outer SM are cheese to chalk. The juror perceptions are even further apart.

    O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown-Simpson lived in upscale Santa Monica because that’s where their peers lived. O.J. was no more inner-city black than I am an Ivy League white. There’s a thing in jury common law that says a person has the right to be tried by peers in their local jurisdiction. (It might even be in the Constitution—yes, just checked. Amendment 6 covers this for US citizens.) Putting the Simpson case into a downtown LA jury pool, rather than into a Santa Monica peer-pool—a lesser-educated and racially different peer-pool—entirely changed the social dynamics, and this seriously affected the jury panel’s psyche.

    – dyingwords.net

  12. Chauvin is probably guilty of misconduct. He’s probably not guilty of murder. That’s a reasonable doubt. That will also be a riot.

    I hope Guatemalans don’t cancel out too many votes in 2022 because the Democrats will lose control of their social-justice cannibals at some point. I hope we don’t lose control of Democrats.

  13. Turley finally comes to the same conclusion I have been talking about in other forums for the past month.

    The simple fact that Floyd started to go into cardiac arrest prior to Chauvin arriving on scene.
    Taking in to consideration all of the factors edema, coronary artery disease, potentially lethal level of fentanyl and add to this the stress caused by being arrested… He was already dying before Chauvin was on the scene.

    With 11 ng/ml of fentanyl in the blood stream… there wouldn’t be anything that anyone could have done when Floyd went into cardiac arrest.

    Even manslaughter would be hard to prove with that toxicology report.

    Chauvin should be fired for his continued use of the restraint, but he didn’t kill Floyd. Floyd was already dead, but didn’t know it.

      1. The same, with opposite sign, you get at NYT / WaPo DON’T confuse with NYPo. This country is “nicely” divided.

    1. The prosecution has not proved, “Beyond a reasonable doubt, and to a moral certainty”, that the officer killed him…No matter what happens, Floyd was already dead, he just hadn’t shut down…When the state doesn’t prove their case, and the case was overcharged, to begin with, you wind up with a repeat of the “State of Florida vs Casey Anthony”…Get ready, for the “Summer of ’21 Riots”…

  14. How can a prosecutor ask a jury to disregard the results of the autopsy as determined by the city’s own medical examiner?

    Seems to me the judge should have intervened and stopped the states attorney or instructed the jury to disregard the prosecutors request and inform the jury otherwise.

    Disregarding the autopsy is grounds for appeal or overturning the verdict

    I figured the jury would find the cop guilty no matter what the evidence but since the autopsy concludes drug overdose then the cop is clearly not guilty

    The fix is in

    1. The prosecutor can’t order anything. That would be the judge. The prosecutor can in fact ask the jury to ignore the facts being presented by the defense, while the defense can reiterate them and show that the prosecution failed to meet their burden.

      If Chauvin is found guilty, there would be ample grounds for appeal. The facts of the case do not support murder and most likely manslaughter charges.

    1. Is everyone suggesting that a conviction is the only answer in order to save the city from being burned to the ground…

      1. Well, then the prosecco should aim at an “affordable solution” like manslaughter, maybe even involuntarily, instead of going all-in with “Murder of the 1st + Do Not consider the forensic facts”. He aims high and will fall down low, riots on their way (who gives 27 millions to the family of a convict, is beyond morals of any sort).

  15. In every cause of death finding outside of natural causes (accident, suicide, homicide or other), a postmortem forensic toxicology test is performed. The test is based on more than a dozen body samples, including hair and fingernails. It is the most scientific and conclusive as to cause of death. The test takes 4 to 6-weeks, so it should have been available around the 4th of July in 2020. In the case of Prince Rogers Nelson (“Prince”), Carver County Minnesota released the results 6-weeks after his death. The conclusion was fentanyl as the cause of death. The autopsy, and yes there is always only one autopsy, used blood drawn at the hospital. It is less definitive, to say the least.

    I am absolutely baffled why no media outlet is asking about the results of the postmortem forensic toxicology report. I have repeatedly asked the Hennepin County Medical Examiners office and they will not respond on the topic. [“Post-Mortem Forensic Toxicology – determines the absence or presence of drugs and their metabolites, chemicals such as ethanol and other volatile substances, carbon monoxide and other gases, metals, and other toxic chemicals in human fluids and tissues, and evaluates their role as a determinant or contributory factor in the cause and manner of death;”]

    1. The report has been on the internet since about July/August 2020. But you really had to look for it. And I mean really look for it. I read the whole report and noted that the Fentanyl level looked high along with the meth. Lawandcrime.com has it and that article was dated 6/3/2020. I bookmarked it, but switched browsers and lost it. Not sure if I can post the link, but I’ll try. https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/live-trials-current/george-floyd-death/authorities-just-released-george-floyds-complete-autopsy-report-read-it-here/

    2. “I am absolutely baffled why no media outlet is asking about the results of the postmortem forensic toxicology report. I have repeatedly asked the Hennepin County Medical Examiners office and they will not respond on the topic. [“Post-Mortem Forensic Toxicology – determines the absence or presence of drugs and their metabolites, chemicals such as ethanol and other volatile substances, carbon monoxide and other gases, metals, and other toxic chemicals in human fluids and tissues, and evaluates their role as a determinant or contributory factor in the cause and manner of death;”]

      -=-
      Because this information didn’t fit the narrative where the city and the police wanted to sacrifice these men in an effort to quell the rioting and calm the public down.

      BLM has added Floyd to the rolls of their poster children. Almost all tend to be bad examples where they died resisting police w the exception being the Zimmerman case where he fired in self defense.

      Sorry but its these types of cases which take away from true abuse of force like what happened in Charleston SC.

    3. Is it really so baffling? The MSM flat out ignores anything that goes against their narrative, like an autopsy report that establishes that Floyd’s cause of death was a drug overdose. The autopsy also establishes that George Floyd was a lowlife POS. Nothing to do with his race, but as MLK said, everything to do with his (lack of) character. A career criminal who died from an overdose. And he’s a victim and a hero?

  16. The officer likely did not kill George Floyd. His undoing might be the fact he kept his knee on the side of his neck for over 10 minutes. THEN he nor anyone else performed CPR. This makes him and the other officers look like they just didn’t give a shit about the guy. 10 minutes is way too long, like 8 or 9 minutes too long. The guy was cuffed, no reason to keep him down like that once they got control of him. Still this does not mean he killed him, but it sure doesn’t endear him to the jury.

    1. If my memory serves me right they were trying to get him to comply with being placed in the back of the cruiser. He was freaking out screaming he was gonna die before they wrestled him to the ground. I don’t disagree that as he was in cuffs there is likely a claim of excessive force but that isn’t the same as deadly force. Kind of like dealing with a 4 year old, just how long are you going to let hime make a scene in the middle of the aisle before you forcibly make the child comply?

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