Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, introduced the concept of “camera perspective bias” in court on Monday. Please bear with me for a moment because the images are quite compelling. In the video from former Officer Alexander Keung’s body-camera, Chauvin’s knee looks like it’s sitting on George Floyd’s shoulder blade. In the bystander video, taken from a completely different angle, Chauvin’s knee looks like it’s pressing on Floyd’s neck.
These images are especially important because of the discrepancies between the autopsy results from the Hennepin County medical examiner and those from “celebrity” medical examiner whom the family had hired to perform a second autopsy.
Nelson plays the two videos. The first video was recorded by teenager Darnella Frazier, a bystander, and the second is from Keung’s body-camera.
Nelson is questioning Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. Nelson said, “From the perspective of Miss Frazier’s camera, it appears that Officer Chauvin’s knee is on the neck of Mr. Floyd.”
Arradondo replies, “Yes.”
Nelson asks, “Would you agree that from the perspective of Officer Keung’s body camera, it appears that Officer Chauvin’s knee was more on Floyd’s shoulder blade?”
Arradondo replies, “Yes.”
“I have no further questions,” said Nelson.
Derek Chauvin's defense counsel Eric Nelson introduces the concept of "camera perspective bias." Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo agrees Chauvin's knee looks like it's on Floyd's neck in the bystander video, but appears to be on his "shoulder blade" in the body-cam video. pic.twitter.com/YoR2GWTdaH
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 5, 2021
Within days of former police officer Derek Chauvin’s arrest on charges of murder and manslaughter, the Hennepin County medical examiner presented prosecutors with the autopsy results. They showed that Floyd had three times the lethal amount of fentanyl in his system.
He told them that “this level of fentanyl can cause pulmonary edema. Mr. Floyd’s lungs were 2-3x their normal weight at autopsy. That’s a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances.”
Floyd also had methamphetamine in his system, a drug the medical examiner noted was “hard on the heart.”
Most significantly, the medical examiner said that “if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else), and there were no other contributing factors, he would conclude that it was an overdose death.”
Following the second autopsy, The New York Times reported that Floyd’s death was caused “by compression of his neck and back by Minneapolis police officers.”
According to the Times:
The findings by the family’s private medical examiners directly contradict the report that there was no asphyxia, said Dr. Allecia M. Wilson, of the University of Michigan, one of the doctors who examined his body. The physical evidence showed that the pressure applied led to his death, she said. In an interview, Dr. Michael Baden, who also participated in the private autopsy, said there was also some hemorrhaging around the right carotid area.
Although she has not had access to the full medical examiner’s report, Dr. Wilson said: “We have seen accounts from the complaint and based on that, yes our findings do differ. Some of the information I read from that complaint states that there was no evidence of traumatic asphyxia. This is the point in which we do disagree. There is evidence in this case of mechanical or traumatic asphyxia.”
She noted that she did not have access to toxicology results, tissue samples or some organs. Those items are not likely to change the results, she said.
The private doctors also said that any underlying conditions Mr. Floyd had did not kill him or contribute to his death.
“He was in good health,” Dr. Baden said.
The private autopsy concluded that even without evidence of “traumatic” asphyxia, such as broken bones, the compression caused by the officers still led to Mr. Floyd’s death by depriving his brain of blood and oxygen and his lungs of air.
A couple of weeks ago, I published a a 24-minute video produced by former federal and state prosecutor and current conservative writer George Parry which shows the interaction between Floyd and the four Minneapolis police officers throughout the arrest.
I’m including part of the post and the video for anyone who may be interested. On March 24, I wrote:
“It might surprise you to learn that George Floyd uttered the now famous words, “I can’t breathe,” seven times before he was placed on the ground.
We also learn that it was Floyd’s idea to lay on the ground. As they tried to put him into the squad car, Floyd tells police. “I wanna lay on the ground, I wanna lay on the ground, I wanna lay on the ground, I wanna lay on the ground. I know, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
Moreover, there was foam around Floyd’s mouth at the time of his arrest. When one of the officers asked him about it, Floyd replied. “Yes, Yes, I was just hooping earlier.” I’ll leave it to the video to explain the meaning of “hooping” in this context.
Additionally, Parry explains the autopsy results and makes it clear that the fatal dose of fentanyl in Floyd’s system, combined with his severe coronary artery disease, his history of hypertension, his poor physical condition and the extremely agitated state he was in at the scene all fits into a classic pattern of excited delirium syndrome.”
The reason excited delirium syndrome is so serious, Parry tells us, “is that it leads to sudden onset cardiac arrhythmia. In fact, the finding by the Hennepin County medical examiner was that Mr. Floyd died as a result of cardiac arrest.”