Barry Brodd, a former Santa Rosa, California, officer, stoutly defended Chauvin's actions, even as a prosecutor pounded away at the witness, banging the lectern at one point during cross-examination and growing incredulous over Brodd's use of the "resting comfortably" phrase. However, he said contributing significant factors included Floyd's ingestion of fentanyl and methamphetamine, exposure to vehicle exhaust and possible carbon monoxide poisoning, and Floyd's paraganglioma, a tumor in his pelvis which in some cases secretes adrenaline, CBS News reported.
"All of those combined to cause Mr Floyd's death", Dr Fowler told the court. These, following the latest death of a Black man at the hands of a White police officer. Chauvin was 44 and Floyd was 46 at the time of Floyd's death.
The only time Chauvin has been publicly heard defending himself was when the jury listened to body-camera footage from the scene last May. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office ruled a year ago that the manner of death was homicide, an act caused by another person.
Judge Peter Cahill pressed on with the case after Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson argued that prosecutors had failed to prove that Chauvin killed Floyd.
"So in my opinion, Mr. Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac arrhythmia due to his atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease. during his restraint and subdual by the police", said Fowler, former chief medical examiner at the Maryland Department of Health.
Floyd had narrowed coronary arteries, known as atherosclerosis, and an enlarged heart due to his high blood pressure, or hypertension, Fowler said.
During cross-examination, Blackwell was able to get Fowler to clarify several of his claims, noting where he did not have data or a topic was outside of his area of expertise. The video of Floyd gasping that he couldn't breathe as bystanders yelled at Chauvin to get off him triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious examination of racism and policing in the U.S.
"Do you feel Mr. Floyd should have been given immediate emergency attention to try to reverse the cardiac arrest?" asked Blackwell.
"That is correct, because it was never sent", Fowler said.
"Are you critical of the fact that he wasn't given immediate medical care when he went into cardiac arrest?" Fowler ruled Black's death an accident but Black's family said Fowler and other Maryland officials "covered up and obscured police responsibility" for Black's death. A cardiology expert rejected the notion that Floyd died of heart problems, saying all indications were that he had "an exceptionally strong heart".
Nelson said that he and Chauvin have had numerous conversations on whether or not he should take the witness stand, including a lengthy conversation Wednesday night.
Dr Fowler added that Chauvin's knee on Mr Floyd was "nowhere close to his airway" and that Mr Floyd's speaking and groaning showed that his airway was still open.
Dr Fowler said the way Mr Floyd struggled with police trying to get him into their auto may have caused stress that led to cardiac arrhythmia.