CARBON monoxide from a cop car's exhaust may have contributed to George Floyd's death, a forensic pathologist has said.
Taking the stand for the defense at Derek Chauvin's trial on Wednesday Dr. David Fowler claimed that the gas may have played a role in Floyd's death as he was pinned to the ground next to the car.
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The former chief medical examiner of Maryland shared his conclusion that Floyd's death should never have been ruled a homicide because there were too many competing potential causes of death.
One of those causes that Dr. Fowler presented was Floyd's exposure to exhaust fumes from the police car while he was being arrested last May.
The exposure could have caused some degree of carbon monoxide poisoning.
However, during cross-examination by attorney Jerry Blackwell, Dr. Fowler was forced to admit that he did not have concrete evidence to support his theory.
Blackwell questioned Dr Fowler, asking him whether he knew the car was in fact on when Floyd was pinned beside down beside it.
"For that matter cutting even more to the chase how do you even know the car was on?," Blackwell asked.
Dr Fowler said it was a question that he had asked and that he saw something ripping from what appeared to be a tail pipe.
The pathologist went on to say that it was not an assumption and that it was an "evaluation based on an indicator that the car was running".
Dr. Fowler made an earlier contradiction just five hours into testimony when he shared the conclusion that Floyd had died from a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" while being restrained by police.
He claimed his death was linked to his underlying heart disease.
However, the conclusion was refuted by the Hennepin County chief medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, who performed the autopsy on Floyd.
Dr. Fowler also said that Floyd had an enlarged heart which meant that he needed more oxygen to function and that his methamphetamine use heightened his risk of cardiac arrhythmia.
Other "significant contributing conditions" that Dr. Fowler listed included the presence of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and paraganglioma the tumor that Floyd had.
“All of those combined to cause Mr Floyd’s death,” he said.
Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, called Dr Fowler to raise doubt about the testimony of other medical experts who told the court that Floyd had died as he was unable to breathe properly due to Chauvin kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes.
Dr. Fowler told the trial that he had specifically eliminated asphyxia as a cause of death but that he did acknowledge that "restraint" played a part in bringing on the cardiac arrhythmia.
Dr. Fowler is a board-certified anatomic and forensic pathologist and is now an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland in the departments of pediatrics and pathology.
This is a developing story…
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