The federal civil rights trial of three ex-Minneapolis police officers involved in the 2020 murder of George Floyd continued on Monday (Feb. 7) after court was paused last week due to a defendant being diagnosed with COVID-19.
According to The Star Tribune, pulmonologist Dr. David M. Systrom took the stand on Monday to testify that Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died of asphyxia after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin applied lethal pressure to his neck.
Systrom also said that Floyd’s restricted torso movement contributed to his asphyxiation since he was being restrained in the prone position.
As reported by REVOLT, ex-cops Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are accused of violating Floyd’s civil rights and failing to render him medical aid during his fatal arrest in May of 2020. Additionally, Thao and Kueng are also charged with failing to intervene on Chauvin while he illegally restrained Floyd.
On Monday, Systrom told the court that in his medical opinion Floyd should have been rendered aid and repositioned before he lost consciousness. The doctor also said that CPR should have been administered as soon as Floyd lost consciousness. In doing so, he said, the officers could have doubled or tripled Floyd’s chance of survival.
“What in your opinion was Mr. Floyd’s chance of survival if he had been repositioned before losing consciousness?” a prosecutor asked Systrom.
“Close to 100 percent,” he responded.
Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges last April and is currently serving a 22 1/2-year prison sentence. In December, he pleaded guilty to a federal count of violating Floyd’s rights.
Besides their ongoing federal trial; Kueng, Lane and Thao are also facing separate state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter. The trial for their state charges is scheduled to begin this June.