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Baker said being involved in a scuffle raises adrenaline, which asks the heart to beat even faster and supply more oxygen.

“And in my opinion, the law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of that, those heart conditions,” the medical examiner said.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death May 25. Floyd was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

Bystander video of Floyd crying that he couldn’t breathe as onlookers yelled at the white officer to get off him sparked protests and scattered violence around the U.S.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson has argued that the now-fired white officer did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s illegal drug use and underlying health conditions, not Chauvin’s knee, killed him. And autopsy found fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system.

Under cross-examination, Baker agreed with Nelson’s statement that Floyd’s heart disease, narrowed arteries and drug use “played a role” in Floyd’s death, though he testified that those things did not cause the death.

As he put it under questioning from the prosecution: “Mr. Floyd’s use of fentanyl did not cause the subdual or neck restraint. His heart disease did not cause the the subdual or the neck restraint.”

A medical expert who testified Thursday said a healthy person subjected to what Floyd endured would have died.

Baker testified that his examination of Floyd’s heart found no “visible or microscopic previous damage” to the heart muscle. Baker also said he noticed no injury to Floyd’s brain from either trauma or oxygen deprivation. And he said he did not notice any pills or pill fragments in Floyd’s stomach.

Baker also said he did not watch the harrowing video of the arrest before examining Floyd so that he would not be influenced by what he saw.

“I was aware that at least one video had gone viral on the internet, but I intentionally chose not to look at that until I had examined Mr. Floyd,” he said. “I did not want to bias my exam by going in with any preconceived notions that might lead me down one pathway or another.”

Other medical experts called as prosecution witnesses have likewise blamed Floyd’s death on the way he was pinned down on the ground.

Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist who retired in 2017 from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office and did not work on Floyd’s case, testified earlier Friday that she agreed with Baker’s findings, but was even more explicit, saying the “primary mechanism of death” was asphyxia, or insufficient oxygen.

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She said she reached that conclusion mostly from video that showed Floyd struggling to breathe.

“This is a death where both the heart and lungs stopped working. The point is, it’s due to law enforcement subdual, restraint and compression,” Thomas said.

During cross-examination, Nelson asked Thomas about what could cause a heart to suddenly stop beating, noting that Floyd’s bigger heart needed more blood and was working hard in a moment of stress and adrenaline, and that one of his arteries had a 90% blockage.

Thomas said any blockage over 70% to 75% could be used to explain death, in the absence of another cause. But she also said some people can live just fine with an artery that is fully blocked.

The defense attorney pressed Thomas by posing a hypothetical question.

“Let’s assume you found Mr. Floyd dead in his residence. No police involvement, no drugs, right?. The only thing you found would be these facts about his heart. What would you conclude to be the cause of death?” Nelson asked.

“In that very narrow set of circumstances, I would probably conclude that the cause of death was his heart disease,” Thomas replied.

In response to another hypothetical posed by Nelson, she agreed that she would certify Floyd’s death as an overdose if there were no other explanations.

But during re-questioning, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell ridiculed the defense attorney’s hypotheticals and quickly got Thomas to repeat that the cause of Floyd’s death was the restraint by police.

“Aren’t those questions a lot like asking, ’Mrs. Lincoln, if we take John Wilkes Booth out of this …” Blackwell began, before Nelson objected.

For the first time, a seat designated for Chauvin’s family was occupied Friday, by a woman. She wasn’t immediately identified. Chauvin’s marriage ended in divorce in the months after Floyd’s death.

Also on Friday, Judge Peter Cahill called in a juror and questioned her about whether she had been subject to any outside influences. She replied that she briefly saw TV coverage with the sound off and said that her mother-in-law had texted her, “Looks like it was a bad day” but that she didn’t reply.

The judge allowed her to remain on the jury.


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Capitol Police turned attention from ’200’ Proud Boys gathered on Jan. 6, lawmaker says

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“Why did the department decide to monitor the … counterdemonstrators but apparently, according to this timeline, not to monitor the Proud Boys?” Lofgren asked Bolton. “What happened to these 200 Proud Boys over the course of the day?”

Bolton said he didn’t have the answer to Lofgren’s questions, but said he hoped to have answers after his next report.

“We have the same kind of concerns,” Bolton said.

He also questioned the timeline’s accuracy and said these questions were part of why he moved up a report on command and control and radio traffic to June from later this summer.

Representatives for the Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Evidence filed by the Justice Department suggests coordination between groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia network, ahead of then-President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally. In a debate in September, when asked to condemn white supremacists, Trump called on the Proud Boys

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, a self-described “Western chauvinist” group, to “stand back” and “stand by.”

The department’s highest-ranking on-the-ground commander, Eric Waldow, urged officers to look out for anti-Trump demonstrators among the sprawling pro-Trump crowd, POLITICO previously reported. Lawmakers have expressed fears that the department didn’t take seriously enough the threat that pro-Trump extremists posed to Congress.

Bolton issued a report in April that found the department’s unit for responding to violent protests is antiquated enough that officers “actively find ways to circumvent getting assigned there.”

Bolton also said on Monday that the department didn’t “adequately” put out guidance for countersurveillance and threat assessment, and had communications procedures that could have “led to critical countersurveillance information not being appropriately communicated” in the department.

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.


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Trump super PAC to hold first fundraiser at Bedminster

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A pro-Donald Trump super PAC is holding its first fundraising event on May 22 at the former president’s Bedminster golf club, according to two people familiar with the planning.

The event will benefit Make America Great Again Action, a super PAC spearheaded by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Trump is expected to attend the event, which will include reception and a dinner. The minimum price for entry is $250,000.

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Trump tapped Lewandowki earlier this year to oversee the super PAC as part of his post-White House political operation. It’s the second big money group Trump has formed. Shortly after the election, he launched Save America PAC, a leadership PAC that has raised tens of millions of dollars.


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Pierre ‘Pete’ du Pont IV dies; ran for president in 1988

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“I was born with a well-known name and genuine opportunity. I hope I have lived up to both,” du Pont said in announcing his longshot presidential bid in September 1986.

As a presidential candidate, du Pont attracted attention for staking out controversial positions on what he hoped would reverberate with voters as “damn right” issues. They included random drug testing for high school students, school vouchers, replacing welfare with work, ending farm subsidies, and allowing workers to invest in individual retirement accounts as an alternative to Social Security.

Some of those ideas have since become more mainstream.

He won the endorsement of New Hampshire’s largest newspaper but failed to gain traction among voters. He ended his campaign after finishing next-to-last in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

Afterward, du Pont remained engaged in politics. He frequently wrote opinion pieces for publications such as the Wall Street Journal and co-founded the online public policy journal IntellectualCapital.com. He also served as chairman of Hudson Institute, the National Review Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonpartisan public policy research organization.

Pierre du Pont IV was born Jan. 22, 1935, in Delaware. After attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, he graduated from Princeton University in 1956 with an engineering degree. Following a four-year stint in the Navy, he obtained a law degree from Harvard University in 1963.

He joined the Du Pont Company, where he held several positions, resigning as a quality control supervisor in 1968 to begin his political career.

After running unopposed for a state House seat in 1968, he immediately set his sights on Congress, running as a fiscal conservative and winning the first of three terms in 1970.

Elected governor in 1976, du Pont fought successfully to restore financial integrity to a state he had declared “bankrupt” shortly after his inauguration. He presided over two income tax cuts; constitutional amendments restricting state spending and requiring three-fifths votes in the legislature to raise taxes; and establishment of an independent revenue forecasting panel.

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After a rocky start with Democratic legislators, including an embarrassing override of a 1977 budget veto, du Pont forged successful relationships with lawmakers from both parties to tackle thorny issues including prison overcrowding and corruption and school desegregation. He was re-elected in a landslide in 1980, winning a record 71 percent of the vote and becoming the first two-term governor in Delaware in 20 years.

In his second term, du Pont signed landmark legislation that loosened Delaware’s banking laws, including removing the cap on interest rates that banks could charge customers. The Financial Center Development Act made Delaware a haven for some of the country’s largest credit card issuers.

Under du Pont’s leadership, Delaware also established a nonprofit employment counseling and job placement program for Delaware high school seniors not bound for college. It served as the model for a national program adopted by several other states.

Prohibited by law from seeking a third term, du Pont briefly withdrew to the private sector, joining a Wilmington law firm in 1985. A year and a half later, he announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, becoming the first declared candidate in the 1988 campaign.

During an appearance at the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington, where du Pont announced he was abandoning his presidential campaign, he praised an electoral process that gave a shot at the White House to a former small-state governor with unorthodox ideas.

“You’ve given me the opportunity of a lifetime. You listened, you considered and you chose. I could not have asked for any more,” du Pont said. “For in America, we do not promise that everyone wins, only that everyone gets a chance to try.”

Du Pont is survived by his wife of over 60 years, the former Elise R. Wood; a daughter and three sons; and 10 grandchildren.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date, Perkins said.


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