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Paramedic testifies at George Floyd trial that Floyd had died before medical help arrived on scene

Derek Chauvin - Killing of George Floyd
In this image from video, witness Derek Smith answers questions as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Thursday, April 1, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

New footage has revealed that George Floyd flatlined in the back of the ambulance after being transferred from the ground to the vehicle on the day that he died. According to a paramedic at the scene, he thought George Floyd was already dead before medical help arrived.

This indicates that George Floyd had died while defendant Derek Chauvin was holding his knee over Floyd’s head. Derek Smith was one of two paramedic’s who first arrived at the scene. He stated in court that he went over to Floyd’s body and “could not detect a pulse.” After not being able to find a pulse, Smith noted that Floyd’s pupils were dilated and decided to get him immediately inside the ambulance in order to care for him. 

Smith then went to say that any effort they made to save Floyd failed, as Smith stated, “I showed up and he was deceased. I dropped him off at the hospital and he was still in cardiac arrest.” Smith also stated that “His heart isn’t beating and it should be. The longer it isn’t beating the less likely it will be he’ll be resuscitated” [Forbes].

Smith’s testimony was after the other paramedic at the scene: Seth Bravinder. Bravinder also noted that he couldn’t see Floyd breathing as he saw no movement. While in the ambulance, footage of the cardiac monitor shows Floyd’s heart flatlining. Floyd’s toxicology report revealed large amounts of drugs in his system. Handwritten notes of a law enforcement interview with Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, say Floyd had 11 ng/mL of fentanyl in his system. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report said Floyd experienced “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent methamphetamine use” these were “significant conditions” leading to his death. His autopsy also revealed a number of underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease [The Sun].

Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for the unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter of George Floyd as Chauvin had put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin did not remove his knee even after Floyd lost consciousness and for 1 minute and 20 seconds after paramedics arrived. However, Minnesota police are trained to use the neck restraint procedure under certain circumstances, which is listed as a “non-deadly force option” in the Minneapolis Police Department Policy & Procedure Manual. Derek Smith’s testimony was on the fourth day of the trial. The jury was shown previously unseen footage along with Smith’s testimony. The Case is expected to last 4 weeks.

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ARTICLE: AANAND MOHATO

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NPR

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