‘No Way Around That’: Derek Chauvin’s Defense Lawyer Fails to Poke Holes in Expert Pulmonologist’s Account of George Floyd’s Death


Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson had his work cut out for him during his cross examination of the state’s expert pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin on Thursday. Nelson began by suggesting that Tobin’s report only captured a tiny bit of what happened during George Floyd’s fatal arrest last May. “You’ve taken this case, and you’ve literally boiled it down into a nanosecond?” he asked. “I wouldn’t say that,” the doctor replied–noting that his report chronicled several minutes beginning at the point Chauvin’s knee hit Floyd’s neck and ending when paramedics attempted to revive him. On redirect, special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell asked if Chauvin’s knee was “constantly changing” positions while on Floyd’s neck. The doctor said no. The defense spent substantial effort tending to its overarching theory of the case; that Floyd died due to a fentanyl overdose. “You know fentanyl is not causing the depression of his respiration,” the expert pulmonologist said.

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