Prosecutors relied on the testimony of Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary specialist at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and Loyola University’s medical school in Chicago, who told jurors that Floyd died from lack of oxygen to the brain, caused by Chauvin’s decision to kneel on his neck for almost nine minutes and Floyd’s positioning on the ground.
In turn the sequence of events damaged Floyd’s brain and caused his heart to stop. “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died as a result of what he was subjected to,” Tobin stated.
Tobin used intricate graphics to back up his assessment, stating that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for an extended period of time, past the point where his body has lost oxygen.
Dr. Tobin, a physician who is a renowned expert on pulmonology testifies that George Floyd died of a low level of oxygen.
The shallow breathing resulted from Floyd being prone on the street and handcuffed, with a knee on his neck and back and an arm at his side, he says pic.twitter.com/3EbiCXXFyV
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 8, 2021
Though Floyd lost all of his oxygen at approximately 8:25 on May 25, Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck for another three minutes, according to Tobin’s testimony.
Dr. Tobin says he was able to calculate that George Floyd lost all of his oxygen at 8:25:41 p.m. on May 25, 2020, but Chauvin’s “knee remained on his neck for another three minutes and two seconds after we reach the point where there’s not one ounce of oxygen left in the body.” pic.twitter.com/4JciatNdYe
— Danny Spewak (@DannySpewak) April 8, 2021
Tobin told jurors that because of Chauvin’s positioning, placing his full body weight on Floyd’s neck, the ability to breathe became nearly impossible, and likened it to attempting to breathe through a straw.
“The toe of his boot is no longer touching the ground, this means that all of his body weight is being directed down at Mr. Floyd’s neck,” testified Dr. Tobin. This visual presented during court says a lot. #DerekChauvin pic.twitter.com/D9xfAGim5V
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) April 8, 2021
According to eyewitness accounts, jurors began touching their necks, clearly resonating with Tobin’s intense description of what transpired.
Tobin’s testimony also dismantled the defense’s use of photos taken which show five minutes into the confrontation where Chauvin was captured kneeling on Floyd’s shoulder blade. At one point Tobin stated the position of Floyd’s hands and knuckles indicated he was using them in an attempt to breathe.
Lastly, one of the most important parts of Tobin’s testimony was where he said fentanyl did not cause Floyd’s death.
Dr. Tobin testifies in Derek Chauvin trial that George Floyd’s respiratory rate indicates that fentanyl was not the cause of his death. pic.twitter.com/LQ6paL8bR1
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 8, 2021
Even though the world watched Floyd’s death, remaining triggered by the horrific imagery, Tobin’s testimony added another layer of difficulty for the defense whose case stands on the narrative that Chauvin’s use of excessive force was not a factor in Floyd’s death.