Cardiologist says Floyd had ‘exceptionally strong heart,’ contrary to defense claims

A prominent doctor testified that George Floyd had a much stronger heart than has been previously portrayed

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A doctor testifying in the Derek Chauvin trial said George Floyd did not pass away from a preexisting health condition.

Read More: George Floyd’s brother sheds tears on the stand

On Monday, cardiologist Dr. Johanthan Rich confirmed that not only was asphyxia Floyd’s cause of death but that he had an “exceptionally strong heart,” per Huff Post.

Derek Chauvin Murder Trial For Death Of George Floyd Continues In Minneapolis
Demonstrators march through downtown on April 9, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

“Every indicator is that Mr. Floyd had actually an exceptionally strong heart,” Dr. Rich, a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said on the stand.

He added that there was “absolutely no evidence” of Floyd having a heart condition or that one led to his death.

“I can state with a high degree of medical certainty that George Floyd did not die from a primary cardiac event and he did not die from a drug overdose,” the doctor said on the stand.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, claimed a heart condition and the fentanyl and methamphetamine found in Floyd’s system at the time contributed to his death, not the fact that his client held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds on May 25, 2020.

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arrandondo testified that officers are trained to deliver basic first aid when needed. Neither Chauvin nor the other three officers at the scene attempted to perform first aid on Floyd despite bystanders telling them he needed medical assistance.

On April 2, Lt. Richard Zimmerman testified that officers “need to provide medical care for a person that is in distress.”

In his testimony, Dr. Rich said that Floyd did not have to die.

“Floyd died from a cardiopulmonary arrest,” he said. “It was caused by low oxygen levels. And those low oxygen levels were induced by the prone restraint and positional asphyxiation that he was subjected to.”

Read More: Virtual experience of George Floyd’s ‘final moments’ cancelled following backlash

He said that he believes Floyd’s death was “absolutely preventable.”

Chauvin faces 11-15 years in prison. He is being charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-and third-degree murder.

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