FOR NINE minutes and twenty-nine seconds police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck, Hennepin county courthouse in downtown Minneapolis heard during the ongoing murder trial.
During those nine and a half minutes, the oxygen was squeezed out of his body, until his heart stopped and he died, an expert confirmed.
Dr Martin Tobin, an intensive care doctor, testified in court on Thursday. He is one of the top experts in the science of breathing. Dr Tobin studies how people breathe and took great care to explain to the jury how the respiratory system works and what he believes caused George Floyd’s death.
With scientific precision, he explained how George Floyd’s body was compressed between the hard asphalt of the tarmac and Chauvin’s knee like ‘a vice’.
With his detailed testimony, Dr Tobin left no doubt that George Floyd died of a lack of oxygen, causing a heart attack. ‘Mr Floyd died from a low level of oxygen,’ Dr Tobin told the court. ‘The cause of the low level of oxygen was shallow breathing, small breaths, small tidal volume, shallow breaths that weren’t able to carry the air through his lungs.’
Dr Tobin explained how George Floyd’s ability to expand his chest to breathe was severely impaired by the fact that he was handcuffed with his arms behind his back. Refuting any suggestion that George Floyd died of other causes, Dr Tobin stressed that a healthy person who was put through this ‘would have died’ too.
About three minutes before Chauvin removed his knee, there was ‘not an ounce of oxygen left in his body. The knee remains on the neck for another three minutes and 27 seconds after he takes his last breath,’ Dr Tobin said. ‘After the officers have found themselves that there’s no pulse, the knee remains on the neck for another two minutes and 44 seconds.’
Dr Tobin said: ‘Because of the knee that was rammed in against the left side of his chest … basically on the left side of his lung … it was almost … to the effect as if a surgeon had gone in and removed the left lung,’ he said.
The doctor told the jury that for nearly five minutes under Chauvin’s knee Floyd is still speaking, which shows ‘that his oxygen levels were enough to keep his brain alive’.
But after that, there is evidence of brain damage. The doctor said Floyd’s leg can be seen kicking out which is a sign of a myotonic seizure caused by lack of oxygen. Tobin said that when Floyd lost consciousness the level of oxygen in his lungs was well below half the normal amount. Tobin said it ‘was a very dangerous mantra’ for the police officers to interpret Floyd saying more than 20 times ‘I can’t breathe’ as evidence that he was in fact able to do so.
This irrefutable evidence that police officer Derek Chauvin squeezed the very life out of George Floyd is there for the world to see. George Floyd’s death sparked a global uprising against police brutality and killings.
In 2019 across all 50 states of the USA, 999 people were shot dead by the cops. In 2020, 1,021 people were shot dead by the cops. In the first three months of 2021, there have been 213 fatal police shootings. Today (April 10) is the 100th day of the year, meaning that this year, on average two people have been shot dead by US cops every day of the week!
What happened to George Floyd is not the exception, it is the rule! It is not a case, as it is being portrayed of one rogue cop who did not follow procedure.
It is very much the procedure of the US capitalist state to shoot first and ask questions later. In America, they say the cops ‘protect and serve’.
In fact, the police, as part of the US capitalist state, serve the rich, and protect private property. Their role is to uphold the ‘right’ of capitalists to make their superprofits through exploiting the working class.
They are the armed guardians of the bosses. They are armed bodies of men and women that cannot be reformed and must be disbanded, both in the US and in the UK.
The only way forward for both the US and UK working class is to build the revolutionary leadership of the Fourth International to overthrow the US and UK bosses and clear the way for worldwide socialism!