tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC April 9, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
>> doctor, tell us, what is the bellows function? >> well, it's what your diaphragm does along with the muscles in between your ribs. so when you take in a deep breath, what's happening is your rib cage is expanding. that then forces the lungs to open up. that's when draws air in. when someone is intubated in, like, surgery or something, it's sort of the opposite of that, because your diaphragm is paralyzed. somebody has to force air in. under normal breathing circumstances, you just -- it's the bellows. it's the pulling air in. >> what did the video tell you? what did you see in it that had to do with the bellows function? >> right. well, he -- mr. floyd is in a position -- first of all, he is
prone or sort of slightly with his head to the side. and he has his arms handcuffed behind his back. so that's already a bit of a difficult position to be in, the prone and handcuffed. then with -- at times at least three officers on top of him, whether it's his neck or his back or his lower back or legs, it prevents him from moving his body into a position where he can adequately use the bellows function. his chest is sort of compressed in this position in such a way that he can't adequately expand and get enough oxygen in. >> over what period of time was this? >> nine minutes. >> what did you see in those
nine minutes that led you to conclude that the mechanism of death was low oxygen or asphyxia? >> well, initially, mr. floyd is able to struggle pretty vigorously when he is in this position that he recognizes as it's going to be hard for him to breathe in this position. >> objection. >> sustained. the last part of the answer about mr. floyd's state of mind is stricken as speculative. >> sorry. initially, when he is in the prone position, he is breathing and speaking. it might look like, he is at that point getting enough air exchange. but over time, you can see that his breathing is getting more and more difficult and he is
saying less and less. and then about halfway through the whole restraint, compression process, he stops breathing -- well, he first stops speaking entirely. then, again, shortly after that, there's a movement that i believe is what's called to an anoxic brain reaction. it looks like a twitch. it's something the body does when the brain no longer has enough oxygen. that's the point at which you can tell by looking, that's where he no longer is getting enough oxygen to his brain. then the restraint and compression continue for many minutes more, even after someone checks and says, there's no
pulse, they maintain the position. so at that point, his heart has also stopped. so he stopped breathing and his heart has stopped. >> doctor, you mentioned the anoxic brain reaction? >> yes. >> is it also known as an anoxic seizure? >> yes. >> is that something that a person does consciously and voluntarily? >> oh, no. no. it's something that your body just does when your brain doesn't have enough oxygen. it's why in lots of cases people who are witnessing someone die, they will say they had a seizure and died. no. what actually happened is they have died, their brain doesn't have enough oxygen, then they had the muscle twitch that may look like a seizure. >> can we go back to exhibit 193? i want to ask you about -- that's right in front of you --
the other contributing conditions, if we could highlight that. do you see where i'm referring to, the other contributing conditions? >> yes. >> what are those? >> in this case, they are arterial sclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use. >> would you explain for the jury, what does it mean, other contributing conditions? >> so the way forensic pathologists and medical examiners usually use this is, people often think of the death certificate is for that person, that specific person who died and their family. that's true. it does serve a very useful purpose for life insurance, whatever. but forensic pathologists are
also using death certificates for public health data purposes. in any given case, we aren't just thinking about this particular person and their cause and manner of death. we are also thinking, the state and the federal government collect data on why do people die, what is cause of death. it's how we know as a country that we have -- how many people die of covid, for example. it's because death certificates list that. one of the things that we use this other contributing conditions for is to list disease processes or drugs that are present at the time of death, but that we don't directly -- that we don't believe directly contributed to the cause of death. it's so that someone looking at data years from now can say,
okay, we want to do an evaluation of all deaths during law enforcement subduing. how many involved someone who also had drugs on board? that may be something that is relevant in trying to prevent these sort of deaths in the future, for example. or the case where i use other contributing conditions probably the most is the hip fracture case that i talked about before where someone dies of a hip fracture due to a fall, but they are 84 years old and they also have hypertensive heart disease, asthma, diabetes. so i will list those as other contributing conditions. in know way did those things cause the fall and the hip fracture and the resulting whatever pneumonia or whatever. but, again, someone from a data perspective might want to know,
you know, of the 84-year-old women who die of hip fractures, what percentage of them have underlying heart disease? again, from a data collection standpoint, does that provide useful public health information that can be used in the future to try and prevent these deaths? that's how i would view this. it's very long-winded. sorry. >> sure. understanding this further. other contributing conditions are conditions that may have contributed but were not the direct cause of the death? >> exactly. >> did you consider these other contributing conditions in your assessment of the cause and mechanism of death for george floyd? >> yes. >> how did you consider them, first of all? >> well, i wanted to look at each one as an -- and ask the question, is this the cause of his death? is arterial sclerotic heart
disease the cause of his death? he has narrowing of his coronary arteries. in many cases, that's the cause of someone's death. i looked at that. again, it comes down to, what were the history of the terminal events? does this look like the type of death we see or is -- i'm not a clinician. i don't see it. but as a forensic pathologist, i know from hundreds of families describing what happened at the time of death that this death does not fit what has been described in someone who dies of a cardiac arrhythmia from arterial sclerotic heart disease. and likewise, hypertensive heart disease. those are sudden cardiac death. this is not that kind of death. likewise, fentanyl intoxication, as i described -- again, i don't treat patients. i don't see living people.
what i know from family members who describe deaths that later turn out to be due to fentanyl. the death is slow, it's peaceful. they hear snoring or deep breathing. there's no struggle. they just often are found just kind of slumped over. it's a very slow death. again, totally different than what is seen in mr. floyd's death. methamphetamine as a cause of death generally is, again, much more of a sudden death. it may cause a cardiac arrhythmia. it may cause a seizure. by that i don't just mean the sort of terminal anoxic twitch but a full-blown seizure. again, looking from what i know about mr. floyd's death, because
it's so well documented, that does not fit with a methamphetamine death. >> you reviewed the toxicology? >> yes. oh, yes. >> how would you characterize the amount of meth in mr. floyd's system at the time? >> it was there. it's not particularly high. certainly, in deaths that i have attributed to methamphetamine, it's been much higher. but it's not like there's any safe level of methamphetamine, but this was a very low level. >> was the methamphetamine significant in your assessment of the cause of death? >> no. >> based on your review of the video and application of the work experience and knowledge, did you rule out drug overdose as a cause of death? >> yes. >> that's an opinion you hold to a reasonable degree of medical certainty? >> yes.
>> i wanted to clarify this earlier and forgot to. does the medical examiner also complete the death certificate? >> yes. we don't issue it. that comes from the county or state. as a medical examiner, we fill out all of the cause and manner and how injury occurred and all that kind of stuff. >> how many death certificates have you filled out? >> gosh, well, thousands and thousands. >> if we look here again at an exhibit in front of you, 193, in the left margin we see a reference here to underlying. >> yes. >> would you tell the juries what that means? >> sure. let's go back to that hip fracture. i keep referring to that. for example, someone who dies of a hip fracture generally that's not a sudden death. what happens is someone gets a hip fracture, they get it surgically repaired, they may
get pneumonia or something like that. then in that kind of case, we would list the immediate cause of death as pneumonia, the underlying cause of that is the hip fracture that was operated. the underlying cause of the hip fracture was the fall. they fell. they got a hip fracture. they got pneumonia. it's something that is used when you have a death that has maybe multiple sequences of events. in a case like this, you don't need an underlying because it's all included in the first line. it's all due to the law enforcement restraint and neck compression. >> the death certificate does not use the word asphyxia or any reference to low oxygen. >> no. >> would you have used the word asphyxia in this case? >> probably not. i tend not to use the word
asphyxia much because it requires a lot of explanation. it doesn't really offer much additional information unless you have a chance to have a discussion like we have had about what asphyxia means. i tend to just list, you know, if someone dies of hanging, well, that's a type of asphyxia death. i wouldn't say necessarily asphyxia due to hanging. i would probably just list hanging as the cause of death. >> to refer to asphyxia or low oxygen doesn't tell you anything about why there's asphyxia or low oxygen? >> right. >> are there findings on autopsy that suggest low oxygen as a cause of death? >> no, there's nothing on autopsy that shows low oxygen. >> there's no test that could be done for low oxygen on autopsy? >> no. >> there are physical findings
that sometimes may be found and may be consistent with low oxygen? >> so there are no physical findings that show low oxygen. but there may be physical findings that are consistent with a cause of death that may result in low oxygen. for example, the hanging, let's use that. if someone is partially hanged, by that i mean they are only partially suspended, so there's only some pressure on their neck, they may have what are called little pin-point hemorrhages in the eyes, because blood is going into their head but not able to drain out because of the pressure on the neck. at autopsy, we will see the
hemorrhage. we can say that finding is consistent with hanging, which the mechanism for hanging is a type of asphyxia. or in manual strangulation, we might see some bruising or we might see broken bones in the neck. the mechanism of death in strangulation is low oxygen. but the finding that we are seeing is consistent with strangulation. it's kind of a fine line between saying, it isn't the low oxygen that we see at autopsy, but sometimes, not always, but sometimes in cases where the death is the result of low oxygen, we see specific findings related to the cause. >> if you then see hemorrhaging, it could help to lead you to the conclusion that it was death by low oxygen? >> yes. >> if you don't see it, what can
you conclude? >> nothing. it's one of those things that when it's present, if it's broken bones or bruise, that's very helpful in putting together a picture of what might have happened. if you don't have them, it doesn't help you one way or the other. >> by not help you one way or the other, it means you can't conclude from that alone that a person did or did not die of low oxygen? >> exactly. >> you mentioned bruising in that context. >> right. again, sometimes -- i mean, for example, strangulation is a great example. sometimes in strangulation you have all kinds of bruises that you can see on the neck. but other times there's a strangulation case and they don't have a single mark on their neck. there's all kinds of reasons that bruises may or may not occur. again, it's one of those things, if it's there, it's very helpful. if it's not, it's not helpful. >> were there other findings in
the death investigation that supported your conclusion on the cause or mechanism of george floyd's death? >> yes. >> would you tell us what those were? >> mr. floyd had superficial injuries, what would be described as superficial injuries, specifically on his face, on his shoulders, on his wrists. what that does is it supports what i saw in the videos, which is that he is being forcibly restrained and subdued and he is trying to move into a position by rubbing his face against the concrete cement of the ground, by pulling against his handcuffs. you can see the injury to his wrists from the handcuffs. and by pushing with his shoulder. he also had some scrapes on his
knuckles on his right hand. that was from him pushing to try and get into a position where he could breathe. >> dr. thomas, are there photographs that depict what you are describing? >> yes, thank you. >> your honor, we have stipulated by way of foundation to the photos. we have individual packets for the jurors. >> members of the jury, there's some stipulated photographs that are going to be shown to you. as we call, as you have heard me say, published to you. we're going to go old school. we're not going to put everything on the monitor. we're not going to broadcast it out. everybody in the courtroom will have access to it, including yourselves. essentially, a packet with these photographs. we will collect them afterwards. these are for you to use in the courtroom. the actual exhibit will be available in deliberation, however. >> the deputy or someone distribute these or should i? >> you can go ahead.
there you go. mr. blackwell? >> your honor, i think i will give one to dr. thomas. >> she can have mine. >> that way your honor won't have to use the camera. dr. thomas, if we start with the exhibit that's marked 185 -- >> yes. >> i take that back. i would like to see it on my screen. dr. thomas, looking at exhibit 185, what is significant in this photograph that informs your conclusions pertaining to the
restraint and subduing? >> this is a photograph of mr. floyd's face. it shows facial injuries, most notably what are called abrasions, which are scrapes over his left eyebrow and over his left cheek. you can also see there's littler scrapes or small cuts on his nose and lip -- upper lip and a little on the left side of his lower lip. the main thing this shows is that the left side of his face was obviously in contact with some rough surface. >> dr. thomas, if we look at exhibit 235, it may be a close-up of the same area.
>> here we go. yes. yes, that is a close-up of the left cheek and the left forehead. you can see, for example, above the left eyebrow there's a dark area. that's a dried scrape. as well as there's a little bit of discoloration of the skin. so that also -- there was a bruise there. on his left cheek, you can see the dark area as well as kind of a lighter orange/pink area. those are, again, scrapes. the dark area is where a scrape has dried. >> what does that tell you about the cause or mechanism of his death? >> it's consistent with the impression from watching the video that his face was on the ground and he was moving his
face in an effort to get into a position where he could breathe. >> let's look at exhibit 188. >> this is a photograph of mr. floyd's left shoulder. >> what do we see here? >> this, again, is an area of scrapes and indicates that there was some force between his shoulder and some rough surface, in this case the ground. again, it's consistent with what is looks like on the video, that he is struggling to push himself into a position where he can breathe. >> let's look at exhibit 187. >> this is a photograph of his
right shoulder. again, you can see there's a little bit of discoloration and then the skin is scraped. so there's less injury impact here. that fits with, again, what you see in the video of which side was down and which side had more contact with the ground. >> let's look at exhibit 189. >> this is a photograph of mr. floyd's left hand. if you look at the base of his hand, sort of right over his wrist, you can see there's some areas of red discoloration with kind of a pale area in between. that's consistent with handcuff
marks. you can also see on the sort of outer edge, there's some white material. that's dried skin. that's an area where his skin has actually been rubbed up from the handcuffs. >> doctor, exhibit 190? >> exhibit 190 is a photograph of his right hand and wrist. again, in this case, you can see more clearly the double-lined discoloration above his right wrist that's consistent with the handcuff marks. indicates pressure against handcuffs. again, on the outer edge, you can see there's a little bit where it's darker and white skin. that's an area where the skin has actually been scraped by the handcuffs.
also on this photograph, you can see on the knuckles of his index finger and middle finger, there's some skin that is scraped off. that's consistent with what you can see on the video where he is pushing against -- i think it's the rim of the car tire or something to try and push his body into a position, again, where he can breathe. >> thank you, dr. thomas. your honor, the jurors may put the photographs away, if they would like. >> we will collect those photographs. they are for your use during this time. we will ask the spectators also
to return the exhibits. counsel can keep theirs. >> thank you, your honor. dr. thomas, having looked at this physical evidence from the autopsy, was that evidence in of and by itself conclusive? >> no. there are multiple ways that scrapes and bruises can happen. it's only useful in the context of what is seen in the videos. >> was there any evidence to suggest that mr. floyd was suffering from a potentially
fatal condition on the evening of may 25, 2020? >> no. do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty if mr. floyd would have died that night had he not been subject to the restraint of the police? >> there's no evidence to suggest he would have died that night, except for the interactions with law enforcement. >> were there other mechanisms that you felt contributed to mr. floyd's death? >> yes. >> could you generally characterize what those were? >> sure. i think a secondary mechanism in this case is what i refer to as physiologic stress. by that i don't mean, like, the stress, somebody is a type a personality and they have a deadline at work and they're
really stressed about it. i'm not talking about that kind of stress. i'm talking about the kind of physical stress you feel when you are driving along and all of a sudden a car swerves in front of you and you realize, oh, my gosh, if that had -- if i hadn't reacted, if that happened a second earlier, i would have been in a potentially fatal car crash. you can feel your heart race. then the car speeds on and you slow down and you realize, i'm okay. everybody in the car is okay. your heart rate slows. or i think even worse, you are at the beach and you suddenly realize, my toddler -- i haven't seen my toddler in -- my gosh, where is my toddler? that rush of adrenaline you get. you feel flushed and you get goose bumps, your heart races, you feel short of breath. then there they are. they are getting an ice cream
cone. okay. it takes you a minute for your heart to slow down and your blood pressure to slow down and you to be able to take a deep breath and recover yourself. that's the kind of physiologic stress i'm talking about. instead of after a second or minute, this goes on for a minute after minute after minute for nine minutes where you are terrified and you can't -- there's no recovery. it's that kind of fear of life that i'm talking about for physiologic stress. >> are you able to tell us what is going on in the body during the physiologic stress? >> so it's -- the reactions are you get chemical release. you get adrenaline or epinephrin. those are things that make your heart race, your blood pressure go up.
you require more -- your muscles get ready to act, to go run, to do whatever you need to do, slam on the brakes. you start needing more oxygen in your muscles. you need to take more breaths. you need more oxygen for your heart rate, because your heart is beating faster. there may be other chemicals that are released, whether it's stress hormones or things like that. there may be lactic acid produced. when you have a heavy workout, your muscles get tired and sore. there's an increase in lactic acid. it's your muscles working. all of those physical things, those chemical things can cause reactions in the body that put
additional stress primarily on your heart but also on all of your body systems. it required your body to be in fine balance. when there's too much lactic acid or not enough -- not an ability to compensate for that elevated lactic acid, then all of your body organs will get into trouble. >> do you consider that physiological stress that you are describing a direct cause or mechanism of death, or is it secondary? >> well, it can -- i guess i would consider it a contributing cause -- contributory to the cause of death. it's another contributing mechanism. >> so the direct cause is what and then the secondary cause is
what? >> so the primary mechanism is asphyxia, low oxygen, second is physiologic stress. the cause of death is the restraint and compression. >> this physiologic stress or physiological stress that we are discussing, is that something that can be observed on autopsy? >> no. why is that? >> well, it's a chemical reaction. increased heart rate, which, of course, we don't see at autopsy. it's increased chemicals that we don't -- can't test for at autopsy. none of it is anything that can be seen physically. >> it's a functional mechanism? >> yes, yes. that's a good way of describing it. >> is low oxygen then also a functional mechanism?
>> yes. >> could you tell us how you felt that the physiological stress was significant to your conclusion on the cause of mr. floyd's death? >> so mr. floyd was already in a position where he was experiencing difficulty breathing and getting enough oxygen in his body. on top of that now, there's this physiologic stress that's putting increased demand on his heart, increased demand on his lungs, increased demand on his muscles. so all of the things that he is using, his muscles, his strength, his body to try and get himself into a safe position where he can breathe, those are
being doubly stressed by the position that he is in as well as the underlying chemical reactions that are going on in his body. it's kind of a double whammy to his heart and lungs and muscles and his whole system. >> so, dr. thomas, i want to show you exhibit 194. again, your honor, it's been stipulated to suggest to foundation. first, dr. thomas, can you tell us what this is? >> this is a press release that was put out by the hennepin county medical examiner's office at the time they certified the cause and manner of death of mr. floyd. >> is it your understanding that the medical examiner's office generates this type of a press release report in certain cases? >> yes.
there's a section in the press release report that refers to manner of death. >> yes. >> let's see if we can highlight that. we see the word there, homicide. >> yes. >> we see also in here information we saw on the death certificate, where the press release says also how the injury occurred. >> yes. >> would you read that for the record? >> how injury occurred, decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officers? >> you agree with that? >> yes. >> let me show you what's exhibit 118. homicide say manner of death? >> yes. >> would you explain to the jurors a little bit about what
it is medical examiners look to when they are trying to determine manner of death. >> sure. unlike cause of death, which could be anything, we only have five options for manner of death. a death can be natural, meaning that all of the conditions that contribute to the death are due to just innate processes. could be cancer, could be heart disease, something like that. second category is an accident. that would be something like a motor vehicle crash or an unintended drug overdose. third category is a suicide, which is death at one's own hands. with at least probably some element of intent. the fourth category is homicide. that means death at the hands of another. then the fifth category is undetermined. that means generally, we don't have enough information about
this type of death to make a determination to fit it into one of the other categories. for example, we talked a lot about terminal events early on. in some cases, we have no idea what the terminal events were because the person is just found dead in their residence. we don't know, because they have been alienated from family, we don't know, were they saying they were going to take their lives, did they have a prolonged history of using drugs? did they just get out of prison? we're unable to get enough information to sort it into, was this an accidental death or was this an intentional suicide death? that would be an example where we might use undetermined, where we just don't have enough information. >> dr. thomas, if you look at the screen in front of you, does this depict or show the manners of death? >> exactly. >> homicide is highlighted reflecting what dr. baker found? >> yes.
>> do you agree with that finding? >> yes. >> in the case of george floyd. your honor, we offer exhibit 918. >> any objection? [ inaudible ] >> the exhibit is without the highlight? >> yes, your honor. >> no objection. >> 918 is received. >> for the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, these are the five manners of death that you were describe, dr. thomas? >> yes. >> we have highlighted homicide to reflect what dr. baker found
and that you agree with? >> yes. >> is there any guidance given to medical examiners about how to select homicide as a manner of death? >> yes. there is a guide that was published by the national association of medical examiners that provides assistance in how to make a determination between these different -- >> i want to show you what's been marked as exhibit 952. do you see that, dr. thomas? >> yes. >> is this the publication that provides the guidance to medical examiners on how to determine manner of death? >> yes. >> would reference to excerpts be helpful to your testimony? >> yes. >> we offer excerpts from 952?
>> any objection? >> yes, i do object to this, your honor. >> would this be a good time to break to deal with the sidebar issue as well? members of the jury, we will take our 20-minute -- we will probably have work here. let's come back around five after. >> good friday morning to you. craig melvin here. we are watching and listening to the tenth day of testimony in the murder trial of derek chauvin. you just heard there judge cahill announcing a 23-minute break roughly. they're going to return at five past the hour. chauvin, the former minneapolis officer charged with killing george floyd. we have been listening and watching this medical expert. we are deep into the medical portion of the trial, piecing together the factors at play during george floyd's final moments. that was dr. lindsey thomas,
objectively speaking, quite the compelling witness. a forensic pathologist who helped train hennepin county chief medical examiner andrew baker. she's testified in court more than 100 times, conducted more than 5,000 autopsied by her count, according to her testimony there. people inside the courtroom, including the jury, as you probably saw there or heard, they were seeing the photos that are not being broadcast for us to show you. that is one of the reasons you did not see those photos. we are also being quite careful about the videos and pictures that we show as well out of an abundance of respect for the family of george floyd. dr. thomas did spend some time describing looking at photos of george floyd's face, including scrapes, of skin discoloration. she testified george floyd's death was not a sudden death.
she said that the activities of the police on that day resulted in floyd's death. at some point today, we also expect to hear from hennepin county medical examiner andrew baker himself. it was baker who conducted the autopsy of george floyd. wasn't to bring in two expert voices now. paul butler, former federal prosecutor, msnbc legal analyst. also dr. amy grizecki, a forensic pathology, the chief forensic pathologist with texas-based american forensics. doctor, let me start with you. we heard dr. thomas there asked about the use of the word asphyxia and the context of how she uses it in cases. this testimony caught my attention. here is what she said. >> would you have used the word asphyxia in this case? >> probably not. i tend not to use the word
asphyxia much because it requires a lot of explanation. it doesn't really offer much additional information unless you have a chance to have a discussion like we have had about what asphyxia means. so i tend to just list, you know, if someone dies of hanging, well that's a type of asphyxia. but i wouldn't say necessarily asphyxia due to hanging. i would probably just list hanging as the cause of death. >> doctor, help explain to us in layman's terms why that part of her testimony was significant. >> asphyxia as a word is very -- it is confusing. like she said, it does require a lot of explanation. asphyxia means that there's a lack of oxygen. in her testimony, she describes many reasons why a body may
undergo a lack of oxygen. to almost describe asphyxia and put the word actually in the cause of death doesn't really tell you anything more about what happened. so in this case, the asphyxia or the lack of oxygen was described or happened because of the external compression of the restraint of the law enforcement officers. >> doctor, what else did you find interesting, significant, compelling from her testimony? >> dr. thomas did a fabulous job of explaining in layman's terms of what was going on during the examination and what also happened while mr. floyd was being restrained. the other really important part of her testimony that she discussed very well was how his body physically reacted with the
physical stress to the restraint that he received, which is very important for why the fight or flight response -- that was part of what happened to mr. floyd while he was being restrained. so not only was it a lack of oxygen, but it was also the physical stress of that restraint. so that she did a wonderful job explaining to the jury in layman's terms why that was important. the other part of her testimony that was -- i'm sorry. >> go ahead. i apologize. this weird delay we have. it's more pronounced than usual. finish your point. >> the other part i was going to say going off is the drug abuse and the fentanyl and methamphetamine and why they were not important as far as primary causes of his death. her testimony was very detailed and describing how that was the
case and what a fentanyl-only death would look like as well as what a methamphetamine death would look like. she did a very great job explaining all of these things. >> paul, i do want to play what we heard from dr. thomas about what happened in her conclusion. here is what he had said. >> if you put all this together, cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subduing, restrain and neck compression, what does that mean? >> well, what it means to me is that the activities of the law enforcement officers resulted in mr. floyd's death and that specifically those activities were the subduing, restraint and the neck compression. >> paul, i heard that as basically the doctor essentially testifying that the officer
killed him. is that an oversimplification? is that what you heard? >> you heard it just right. the prosecuors are hoping that's how the jurors heard it as well. this testimony is a pre-emptive strike by the prosecution a pre the prosecution to prepare the jurors for the next witness who is the medical examiner. the defense has called that person as their star witness, so the prosecution is trying to put it in context. the prosecutor has to prove that chauvin's actions were a substantial factor in in floyd's death. the medical examiner said that mr. floyd died of heart and lung
failure. if they attack the medical expert, that plays into the defense's hands. cause of death, that's reasonable doubt. the prosecution is saying that the prosecution is not inconsistent of its theory of how mr. boyd died. it's just in complete. >> the defense sowing the seeds of confusion perhaps. stand by. gabe is in downtown minneapolis. he has been camped out there since before the trial started. how does this set up what we expect to hear from the medical examiner this afternoon or perhaps at this point on monday as well. >> craig, i thought all of the
analysis was spot on, that this witness was a preemptive strike by the prosecution. craig, you have to understand why this medical examiner testimony that we are expecting later today, why it has been so anticipated. it is an autopsy controversial because it listed the level of drugs in george floyd's system. 11 nanograms of fentynal which the defensed as used as an argument. apparently the medical examiner did in speaking with investigators said he had some
skepticism that the actions of law enforcement officers contributed to george floyd's death, but the fact is we don't know what he will say on the witness stand. that's why it is highly anticipated. but as paul mentioned, this calling of a witness, she actually trained the medical examiner, so another sign of a prebuttal there. it has been an extremely difficult week for george floyd's family. it has been difficult to see some of these video's of george floyd's death played once again. they are having a difficult time as this plays out. but, again, highly anticipated testimony this afternoon from the medical examiner.
>> gabe gutierrez from outside the courthouse. amy and paul butler, thank you and enjoy the weekend. we are following the breaking news over the pond from the united kingdom. we are learning new details about the funeral of prince phillip. queen elizabeth said her husband slipped away peacefully. he served 65 years supporting the queen. longest serving companion of any monarch. they have been married more than 70 years. >> what can you tell us about the plans for prince phillip's funeral. i would imagine this global pandemic in which we find
ourselves will probably have some effect on the plans. >> you guessed correctly. as a matter of fact you can probably see some crowds gathered in front of buckingham palace gates. they have been gathering here throughout the morning ever since news of prince philip's death. this is not what the palace or government officials want to see. this country is still in lockdown because of the pandemic and you are not supposed to be gathering in large crowds quite frankly. a few moments ago buckingham palace put out a new statement about prince philip's funeral, not to gather to lay flowers.
do it another way. they hope people will leave con -- condolences online. and they said there will be modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements are being considered by her majesty the queen. we know there will be no state funeral or lying in state. that's what prince philip wanted. he did not want a high profile funeral. we also understand his body will remain at windsor castle until his funeral at st. george's castle, the site of so many weddings, in fact prince harry
and meghan's wedding three years ago. the site is still to be determined. >> outside buckingham palace where folks have started to gather to pay respects to prince philip who died earlier today at age of 99, just shy of 100. andrea mitchell will pick up coverage after a short break. l p coverage after a short break we've been online for more than 25 years and have helped thousands of students reach their goals. as a nonprofit university, we believe access to high quality education should be available to everyone. that's why we offer some of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, and haven't raised tuition in nearly a decade. so no matter where you want to go, snhu can help you get there. visit snhu.edu today. we made usaa insurance
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good day, everyone. this is andrea mitchell reports with our continuing coverage of the derek chauvin trial. prosecution has been trying to preempt upcoming problems from testimony today. the medical examiner who did not say strangulation was the cause of death. dr. thomas who trained that medical examiner testified today for the prosecution. she was asked cause of death. she said after reviewing videos and materials, she said she found thatff