3 min ago
This series of still images from body worn camera footage were show to Dr. Martin Tobin during his testimony. Tobin noted the significance of an image where you see Floyd reaching out with his knuckles pressed against the tires of the squad car while Chauvin is on top of him.
This series of still images from body worn camera footage were show to Dr. Martin Tobin during his testimony. Tobin noted the significance of an image where you see Floyd reaching out with his knuckles pressed against the tires of the squad car while Chauvin is on top of him. Pool

Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary expert, testified that there was "absolutely no way" that Floyd's chest could expand properly to breathe.

During his testimony, Tobin had been shown a series of still images from body worn camera footage from the scene that he previously reviewed. At one point, Tobin noted the significance of an image where you see Floyd reaching out with his knuckles pressed against the tires of the squad car while Chauvin is on top of him.

Tobin said, "To most people, this doesn't look terribly significant. But to a physiologist, this is extraordinarily significant."

"This tells you that he has used up his resources and he's now literally trying to breathe with his fingers and knuckles," he added.

He continued: "Because when you begin to breathe, you begin to breathe with your rib cage and your diaphragm. Then the next thing you recruit after that is your sternum muscle which is the big muscle in your neck. When those are wasted up, then you're relying on these types of muscles like your fingers to try and stabilize your whole right side. Because he's totally dependent on getting air into the right side." 

Tobin said he concluded Floyd was "using his fingers and his knuckles against the street to try and crank up the right side of his chest."

"This is his only way to try and get air to get into the right lung," he said.

On his left side, Tobin said, Floyd was similarly trying to use his shoulder to breathe. He said that "because the chest underlying it is so expanded, you get very, very little air in." 

"It's a very poor way of breathing. But it's what you have to do when everything else is failing," he said.

Watch:

9 min ago

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Martin Tobin, a physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine, testified that the way officers were driving handcuffs into George Floyd’s back, coupled with how Floyd was on the street, limited his breathing. 

“They're pushing the handcuffs into his back and pushing them high,” Tobin said. 

“The street is playing a crucial part because he's against the hard asphalt street. So the way they're pushing down on these handcuffs combined with the street — his left side, and it's particularly the left side we see that — it's like the left side is in a vice. It's totally being pushed in, squeezed in from each side from the street, at the bottom … It's how the handcuffs are being held, how they're being pushed, where they're being pushed that totally interfere with central features of how we breathe,” Tobin said.

“So Mr. Floyd then is pancaked between the pavement underneath him and then force on top of him?” prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell asked, to which Tobin responded, “precisely.” 

Tobin said Floyd was “being squashed” between two sides. In addition, a knee against the left side of Floyd's chest hampered his ability to breathe.

“It was almost to the effect as if a surgeon had gone in and removed the lung. Not quite, but along those lines. So there was virtually very little opportunity for him to be able to get any air to move in to the left side of his chest,” Tobin said.  

Watch:

30 min ago

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen," a pulmonologist testified at former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin's trial.

Dr. Martin Tobin, a physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine, testified after having reviewed the medical records in this case. He said he is not being paid to appear in court.

"And this caused damage to his brain that we see and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia, that caused his heart to stop," he told the court.

PEA means pulseless electrical activity, "which is a particular form of abnormal beat of heart — an arrhythmia," he explained.

He also shared his opinion on the cause for the low level of oxygen in Mr. Floyd:

"The cause of the low level of oxygen was shallow breathing. Small breaths. Small tidal volumes. Shallow breaths that weren't able to carry the air through his lungs down to the essential areas of the lungs that get oxygen into the blood and get rid of the carbon dioxide."

Watch:

21 min ago
Dr. Martin Tobin testifies on Thursday, April 8.
Dr. Martin Tobin testifies on Thursday, April 8. Pool

Dr. Martin Tobin, a physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine, said George Floyd died from a "low level of oxygen."

He outlined four factors that contributed to his low oxygen:

"So there are a number of forces that led to – that is the size of his breath became so small and so series of forces higher up that are leading to that. And the main force is that are going to lead to the shallow breath are going to be that he's turned prone on the street. That he has the hand cuffs in place combined with the street and then that he has a knee on his neck and then that he has a knee on his back and down his side. All of these four forces are ultimately going to result in the low tidal volume which gives you the shallow breaths that we saw here. And so the air will not be able to reach those air sacks we just saw on the video where the oxygen is exchanged and the carbon dioxide is removed," he said. 

The prosecutor listed the four reasons to make it clear to the jury:

  • Handcuffs and the street
  • Knee on the neck
  • The prone position
  • The knee on the back, arm inside

The prosecution is now asking him about each of the four individual factors in detail.

Watch:

52 min ago
Pool
Pool

Dr. Martin Tobin, a physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine, is now testifying at the Chauvin trial. He reviewed the medical records in this case.

Tobin, who has lectured all of the world, described his expertise in court

"I'm primarily interested in breathing in the bigger area. And so with breathing, that would mean how the brain regulates your breathing, how the brain sends signals down to the muscles that control your breathing, diaphragm, rib cage, and then how you expand your chest and how you overcome forces within your chest like resistance within your chest and all the rest of it to get air moving in and out of your lungs. And then the particular forces that you generate in terms of the pressures within your chest that will enable breathing to occur with the ultimate purpose of getting oxygen in and getting rid of carbon dioxide." 

He said he is not being paid to appear in court.

1 hr 11 min ago

Day nine of testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has begun.

Dr. Martin Tobin, a physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine, has taken the stand and is being questioned by the prosecuting attorney.

Yesterday, several investigators and forensic scientists testified about what they found at the crime scene, including George Floyd's blood stains and a few white pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.

A Los Angeles Police Department use-of-force expert, hired by the prosecution, also testified that Chauvin had used excessive and deadly force on Floyd when none was needed.

Catch up on what happened yesterday here.

1 hr 39 min ago
Defense attorney Eric Nelson questions Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger on Wednesday, April 7.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson questions Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger on Wednesday, April 7. Court TV/Pool/AP

The trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will enter day nine of testimony today. We're expecting the prosecution to call more witnesses.

Here's a recap of what's happened so far this week in trial:

  • Monday: Three witnesses took the stand. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Chauvin's kneeling on George Floyd's neck is not a trained tactic and was a violation of the policies around de-escalation, objectively reasonable use of force and requirement to render aid. Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld treated Floyd and said the "more likely possibility" of Floyd's cardiac arrest was hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. Minneapolis Police Inspector Katie Blackwell, who recently served as commander of the department's training division, looked at a photo of Chauvin on Floyd’s neck and told the court that it was not in line with department training. “I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is,” she said. “It’s not what we train.” 
  • Tuesday: Four police officials testified in court. Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger, a use-of-force expert, testified that the force used by Chauvin on Floyd was excessive. Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil, a use-of-force instructor with the department's training unit, said Chauvin's kneeling on Floyd's neck is not a trained neck restraint tactic. Minneapolis Police Officer Nicole Mackenzie, a medical response coordinator, testified that officers are required to render first aid and request emergency services when someone needs medical help. Chauvin took a 40-hour course on crisis intervention training in 2016 in which actors portrayed people in crisis and officers had to de-escalate the situation, said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Ker Yang, the department's crisis intervention training coordinator.
  • Wednesday: Several investigators and forensic scientists testified about what they found at the crime scene, including Floyd's blood stains and a few white pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. A Los Angeles Police Department use-of-force expert hired by the prosecution testified that Chauvin had used excessive and deadly force on Floyd when none was needed. The special agent who led the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation into Floyd's death also struggled to make sense of a short phrase Floyd said last May as Derek Chauvin kneeled on him.
2 hr 18 min ago

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

A woman views a memorial dedicated to George Floyd outside the entrance of Cup Foods in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 5.
A woman views a memorial dedicated to George Floyd outside the entrance of Cup Foods in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 5. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

George Floyd’s death sparked global protests over police brutality and racism last year, and now the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is receiving nationwide attention and sparking renewed calls of police reform.

Eight current or former officers have testified against Chauvin so far in the trial, including the chief of the Minneapolis police department who noted that Chauvin's actions and use of force during the arrest of Floyd were contrary to department policy.

The courtroom trial will decide whether Chauvin is culpable for Floyd's death after pinning him to the ground with a knee on his neck. The former police officer is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.

Outside the courtroom, the case is widely seen as a trial of the US system itself — a test of whether justice is possible for a Black man who died while under arrest, triggering a global racial reckoning.

Here are some actions that have been proposed or taken since Floyd’s death:

  1. Police departments in at least 46 cities across the US have banned chokeholds and strangleholds, according to a non-profit a group that advocates against police violence.
  2. Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced in June 2020 that they intend to defund and dismantle the city's police department following the police killing of Floyd.
  3. New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city will move some of its funding from the New York Police Department to youth and social services.
  4. Just weeks after Floyd's death, House Democrats introduced and passed a sweeping legislation, then titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, aimed at cracking down on police brutality and recording patterns of misuse of force across the country. The legislation, however, was never passed in the Senate. House Democrats reintroduced the bill this February.
3 hr 11 min ago

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

The jury in Derek Chauvin's trial has heard from multiple witnesses so far, and they've been shown bystander and police footage of George Floyd's final moments. 

If convicted, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. The charges are to be considered separate, so Chauvin could be convicted of all, some or none of them.

While the jurors are unnamed and unseen on camera, we do know basic details about them.

Here's what we know about the jury:

  • Five men and nine women were chosen to serve on the jury during the trial in Minneapolis. 
  • Of the 14 jurors, eight are White, four are Black and two are mixed race, according to how the court says the jurors identified themselves.
  • The jury selection process began March 9 at the Hennepin County Government Center and wrapped up exactly two weeks later. 
  • The panel is made up of 12 jurors and two alternates, Judge Peter Cahill said.
  • The jurors all come from Hennepin County, which is demographically about 74% White and 14% Black, according to census data.
  • The prospective jurors previously completed a 16-page questionnaire that asked for their personal thoughts on Black Lives Matter, policing and other topics.
  • In court, each person was sworn in and then questioned one-by-one in a process known as voir dire. The juror's name, address and other information are kept anonymous.
  • Eric Nelson questioned the prospective jurors for the defense, while Steve Schleicher questioned them for the prosecution.

Read more about about the jury here.