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Dr. David Fowler, Former Maryland Chief Medical Examiner, Called To Stand For Defense In Derek Chauvin Murder Trial

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Maryland's former chief medical examiner was called to the stand for the defense in the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Wednesday.

Video Transcript

- Well, Maryland's former chief medical examiner was sent to the stand for the defense, in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. And as Rachel Menitoff explains, he is involved in a very similar case right here in our state, which he is a defendant in a lawsuit.

DR. DAVID FOWLER: There were no broken bones documented.

RACHEL MENITOFF: Dr. David Fowler testifying Wednesday in the Derek Chauvin murder trial in Minneapolis, on behalf of the defense, he told the jury that George Floyd died from sudden cardiac arrhythmia during his arrest. He also testified that he believes the amount of force supplied by Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck was not the cause of his death.

- In terms of the placement of Officer Chauvin's knee to Mr. Floyd, is it your opinion that Mr. Chauvin's knee in any way impacted the structures of Mr. Floyd's neck?

DR. DAVID FOWLER: No, it did not. None of the vital structures were in the area where the knee appeared to be from the videos.

RACHEL MENITOFF: Fowler was Maryland's chief medical examiner up until 2019. And he's now named in a lawsuit, brought by the family of Anton Black, a 19-year-old black teenager, who died after being chased and restrained by police officers on the Eastern Shore in 2018. Fowler ruled that his death was the result of a heart condition and that mental illness was a contributing factor. This lawsuit claims, though, that Dr. Fowler was complicit in creating a false narrative.

The ACLU of Maryland says in part, the medical examiner's office ruled that Anton Black's death was not a homicide even though video showed police chase him, tase him, and pin him face down to the ground, at which point he stopped breathing. Ken Ravenell is one of the attorneys representing Anton Black's family.

KENNETH RAVENELL: We can't wait to get our turn to examine him, because what he's doing in the George Floyd case is abysmal. And what he's done in this case is absolutely abysmal.

RACHEL MENITOFF: In a statement to WJZ, Anton's family says, "initially, our family was shocked to learn that Dr. Fowler was testifying in Chauvin's defense, but there is an eerie and terrifying similarity between the police killings of Anton and George Floyd."

I'm Rachel Menitoff for WJZ.