Prosecution: Have you formed an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty on the cause of Mr. Floyd's death?
Expert: Yes, I have.
Prosecution: Would you please tell the jury what that opinion — or opinions — are?
Expert: Yes. Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen. This caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop.
The defense, when it came to their turn to question the witness, were mostly obfuscating, which was rather painful to watch. Neither the prosecution nor the defense asked questions that would be really interesting epistemically, e.g.:
- could you walk us through your differential diagnosis? were there any other possible causes of death that you considered, but rejected?
- how do you interpret the complaint "I can't breathe" made when Floyd was still on his legs? was it a panic attack? is his difficulty breathing at that point of the same or of a different nature than when he was in the prone position with three police officers on top of him? is this verifiable?
- could any of the drugs in his system have caused an arrhythmia? the defense is trying to sell the jury on the inhibitory effect of fentanyl on respiration; but apart from that, and apart from the weight of police officers on his chest, could there have been any other causes of the hypoxia?
Missed the testimony by the pathologist, by the way. How the hell did I miss the pathologist? Was he not included in the Independent stream?
Ah, found him. Not in the Independent stream though. Strange.
P.S.: was also very surprised that the defense suggested that this incoherent wail contains the phrase "I ate too many drugs". There are more syllables in it than that.