Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Medical expert testifies George Floyd died from asphyxia

Plus: the two George Floyd autopsies; third Minnesotan arrested over Capitol attack; A.J. Awed announces Minneapolis mayor run; and more.

A courtroom sketch of forensic pathologist Dr. Lindsey Thomas testifying on the tenth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
A courtroom sketch of forensic pathologist Dr. Lindsey Thomas testifying on the tenth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Hennepin County medical examiner’s testimony is expected later Friday. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “A veteran medical examiner testified Friday in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial that George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen from being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. … ‘In this case I believe the primary mechanism of death is asphyxia, or low oxygen,’ said Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a medical examiner of 37 years who retired from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office in 2017 and still works as a forensic pathologist in Reno and Salt Lake City. … Thomas explained that although Floyd’s heart stopped, he didn’t die from a heart attack.”

Relatedly, here’s a Floyd autopsy explainer. For Vox, Rachel Ramirez writes: “…[D]espite what people saw, both virtually and in person last May, at the center of the trial is the question: What ultimately killed Floyd? The prosecution has argued that it was Chauvin’s knee, constricting Floyd’s neck and airway, that ultimately led to his death. Meanwhile, the defense has argued that it was Floyd’s history of drug use and underlying conditions that caused his death. … Two autopsy reports — one by a private medical examiner commissioned by Floyd’s family and another by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner — reached the same conclusion: that Floyd died of homicide, meaning death at the hands of someone else. But the medical examiner report also highlighted that Floyd suffered from other ‘significant conditions,’ such as fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use. These latter conditions are what the defense is using to argue that Chauvin is not responsible for Floyd’s death.”

Arrests keep coming. WCCO reports: “FBI Minneapolis officials have announced that another Minnesotan has been arrested in connection to the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6. … According to the FBI, a 26-year-old Lindstrom man was arrested by FBI special agents Friday on charges related to criminal acts at the Capitol. Charging documents have not yet been posted.”

Minneapolis gets another mayoral candidate. The Star Tribune’s Alex Chhith reports:A.J. Awed on Thursday night joined a fast-growing field of candidates for mayor of Minneapolis. … He joins at least five others running for the office, including incumbent Jacob Frey. In addition to electing a major in November, city residents also will vote on all 13 City Council seats. … Awed, 30, is not new to local politics. The Stevens Square resident ran for City Council during a special election last year, losing to Jamal Osman. He is also co-executive director of the Cedar-Riverside Community Council.”

The Star Tribune has a special report on the #metoo movement and the Minnesota music scene. Chris Riemenschneider and Jenna Ross write: “The music scene that Lydia Liza entered as a 16-year-old, “vulnerable in every sense of the word,” was full of men and full of threats. Men who groomed her with bad intentions, men who kissed her without her permission. Soon, she and her guitar will return to venues again. But thanks to a #MeToo reckoning that’s been playing out backstage, that scene will be different, she hopes.

Article continues after advertisement

In other news…

Now recruiting:St. Paul police working to at least double number of female officers by 2030” [KSTP]

Hear from the people who are there:What the Chauvin trial feels like for the neighbors in George Floyd Square” [Sahan Journal]

We assume the two are unrelated:South Dakota Attorney General Who Ran Over Man in Line for Army Promotion” [The Daily Beast]

Big change:U of M Crookston will allow of-age students to drink on campus after completing program” [Fargo Forum]

Excuse you:Edina personal trainer completes world record 715 burpees in 1 hour” [KMSP]