Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A veteran forensic pathologist testified Friday that the position of George Floyd's body appeared to show he could not get enough oxygen before he died, and that "there's no evidence to suggest that he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement."

Why it matters: Her testimony confirms autopsies that show Floyd died from "asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes.

What she's saying: "In a case like this, you don't need an underlying [cause] because it's all included in the first line," said Lindsey Thomas, who has worked in dozens of Minnesota counties and performed over 5,000 autopsies. "It's all due to the law enforcement's subdual restraint and neck compression."

  • Thomas said death due to drug overdose was unlikely, noting that meth as a cause of death would look more like a full-blown seizure, which does not fit with Floyd's death. She added that the amount of meth in his system was "very low."
  • She also ruled out death caused by heart disease: "This is not that kind of death."
  • Though she declined to use the word asphyxia to describe Floyd's death — she said there is no autopsy test to show low oxygen — Thomas did note "there may be physical findings that are consistent with a cause of death that may result in low oxygen."
    • The ER doctor who treated Floyd testified last week his cause of death was most likely oxygen deficiency.
  • Of note: Every juror took notes when Thomas said "there was nothing sudden about his death," per the press pool.

Between the lines: In the cross-examination, defense focused on Floyd's heart, which Thomas called "slightly enlarged," and attempted to show the condition could have contributed to his death.

  • Her testimony nonetheless could make it difficult for Chauvin's defense to prove the argument that Floyd died from a heart attack or drugs.

The big picture: Several experts have taken the stand to testify that Chauvin's use of force was excessive and "deadly."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more details from the testimony.

Go deeper

Respiratory expert says preexisting conditions did not cause George Floyd's death

Pulmonary expert Dr. Martin Tobin on Thursday testified Thursday that George Floyd's preexisting conditions had nothing to do with his death.

Why it matters: Tobin said that in his opinion, Floyd died from a lack of oxygen caused by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his body. An ER doctor earlier this week similarly testified at Chauvin's trial that Floyd's death was most likely caused by a lack of oxygen.

Use-of-force expert: Chauvin used "deadly" force on George Floyd

Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, testified Wednesday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin used "deadly" force on George Floyd and kept his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

Why it matters: Stiger, a prosecution witness, said the initial force Chauvin used on Floyd was appropriate, but he should have let up when Floyd stopped resisting.

Apr 9, 2021 - Podcasts

Second week of Chauvin trial wraps up

The second week of the trial over George Floyd's death. The Minneapolis Police chief testified Derek Chauvin did not act according to MPD policy.

  • Plus, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on her family’s brush with AAPI hate.
  • And, how accurate is the movie Contagion?