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Defense For Derek Chauvin Calls Medical Expert To Introduce Alternative Cause For George Floyd's Death

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Derek Chauvin's defense called its own medical expert to introduce an alternative cause to George Floyd's death Wednesday; CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reports.

Video Transcript

- It's day 13 of the Derek Chauvin trial. Today, his defense called its own medical expert to introduce an alternative cause of George Floyd's death. A former medical examiner suggests carbon monoxide from the squad car's exhaust pipe may have been a contributing factor.

David Fowler, the former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland reviewed George Floyd's autopsy report. He says Floyd had an enlarged heart, and his underlying health issues and drug use led to his sudden cardiac death while Derek Chauvin held him down on the ground next to a squad car.

DEREK FOWLER: He would have the toxicology, the fentanyl and methamphetamine. There is exposure to a vehicle exhaust, so potentially carbon monoxide poisoning.

- The prosecution was quick to refute that possibility.

- How do you know the car was even on?

DEREK FOWLER: I made an observation of water dripping from what appears to be a tailpipe.

- Do you agree with me that there was no finding of carbon monoxide poisoning from Dr. Baker's autopsy review?

DEREK FOWLER: I do.

- Medical experts for the prosecution had testified Floyd died from low oxygen levels, saying the pressure Chauvin placed with his knee on Floyd's neck made it impossible for him to breathe properly. Placement of the knee is towards the back and the back right side of Mr. Floyd's neck, and the airway is around the front. It is nowhere close to his airway.

Moving air in and out is-- and speaking and making noise-- is very good evidence that the airway was not closed.

- Fowler testified after Floyd went into cardiac arrest under Chauvin's restraint, there was still time to save his life.

- Do you feel that Mr. Floyd should have been given immediate emergency attention to try to reverse the cardiac arrest?

DEREK FOWLER: As a physician, I would agree.

- Fowler was also asked if he was critical that Floyd wasn't given emergency care. He agreed it's still not-- he agreed, and it's still not known if Chauvin will testify in his own defense.