Derek Chauvin trial live: Doctor says officers' restraint position prevented Floyd from breathing

MINNEAPOLIS — A medical expert who researches breathing took the witness stand Thursday morning in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Dr. Martin Tobin said the cause of Floyd’s death was hypoxia, or a low level of oxygen that led to asphyxia. This was because Floyd was taking shallow breaths, he testified.

Attorney questioning returned to the topic of George Floyd’s drug use Wednesday. Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross told jurors last week the two both became addicted to opioids four years ago after they were prescribed the drugs for chronic pain. Like millions of Americans, they tried to go clean but failed, she said.

On Wednesday, defense attorney Eric Nelson suggested Floyd said the words “I ate too many drugs” during his struggle with police last Memorial Day. He played several seconds of unintelligible police bodycam audio for witnesses: One said he couldn’t make out Floyd’s words, and other said he thought Floyd was saying “I ain’t do no drugs.”

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