The court of public opinion, famous for getting it wrong, has ruled the death of George Floyd a deliberate homicide by one police officer. That one officer, whether innocent or guilty now seems to represent the entire 700,000 police officers in America. If I were him, I would at least ask for a raise, doesn’t seem like $62k a year is nearly enough for all that responsibility. 3 other officers were found guilty by association, not sure how they can be charged with a murder, so it must be guilt by association.
Meanwhile, the media circus continues unabated; Saint Floyd the Martyr has been laid to rest in his golden coffin, with full honors and accolades befitting the most notable champions of the civil rights cause, like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcom X, Congressman William J. Jefferson and the great orator, Sir Rodney King.
However, there is one little problem. This case must actually go to trial to determine guilt using evidence. Dangit! This is where things get a bit sticky, because pesky facts can get in the way of what otherwise was a slam dunk case using public opinion and hearsay.
A trial court will hear from the Coroner about the actual cause of death. This is going to be a big hurdle because Floyd’s years of drug and alcohol abuse left him with life threatening heart problems and the stress of resisting arrest could have lead to heart failure. Yeah, that’s a tough one, but it gets worse for the prosecution.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, try this little experiment. Have someone, preferably someone you trust, who weighs about 65% of your body weight, kneel on the right side of your neck as you lay on your left side. Go very slowly, we don’t want you to break anything! Allow the applying of more and more weight to your neck and when it starts to close off your airway, yell stop. I suggest you continue talking too to see if this action impedes your voice.
What did you learn from this reenactment?
Well, if your anatomy is like most human beings you will note that your windpipe (trachea) is located in the [front] of your throat. Putting a knee on the right side your neck doesn’t close off your airway (trachea). That’s like trying to choke someone with only one hand and no fingers, its possible, but its nearly impossible.
Placing a knee across your thyroid cartilage (adams apple) might do it, but that’s not what happened here. We are talking about a knee on the right side of neck only.
Now I ask you, (remember you are under oath now) is it [possible] to close off the trachea (wind pipe) by placing a knee on the right side of the neck? The answer is a technical… yes. But, now I ask you, is it [likely] to cause choking and death? The answer must be, no.
Now given the condition of George Floyd’s heart and arteries, is it [possible] that he suffered a stress induced heart attack? The answer must be yes. Is it [likely] that he suffered a heart attack and that was the proximate cause of death? Again, the answer must be, yes. Is it [ highly likely] that he actually died from heart attack cause by his resisting to arrest? The answer is an unequivocal, yes. Now lets take a look at the toxiccology report, if it shows illegal drugs in his system, especially meth a medical would have to say drugs amplify underlying medical conditions and the combination of alcohol and drugs, plus bad heart, plus blocked arteries and resisting arrest are far more likely that anything else to be the cause of death.
Experts will tell you that when you choke someone to death, they usually die before you stop choking them. It’s very rare that a victim of choking will be alive when the ambulance arrives and then die while being transported to hospital. This is what happens with heart attack victims.
Given the above circumstances, a medical pathologist might even go so far as to say the odds of a heart attack causing death in Mr. Floyd’s case is at least a 100,000 times more likely than a suffocation death caused by a collapsed trachea due specifically to right side pressure on the neck from a knee. The likelihood of that happening is, as you have all demonstrated, a near impossibility. Lets be honest, to say that was the cause of death is by no means a certainty.
All the…. “he said she said” testimony is nice, but it pales in comparison to the autopsy report listing the true cause of death. The whole case should hinge on this report, but juries are fickle and sometimes they are bias. If they believe a bought and paid for medical doctor over the county pathologist, justice may not be served.
However, this medical report is the first big hurdle that the prosecution must clear, because if they can’t show “beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty” that the officer’s actions by placing a knee on Floyd’s neck was the one and only proximate cause of Floyd’s death, nothing that follows matters much. There is a lot to follow too, beyond the medical report that also favors the officers defense. This case is far, far from a slam dunk.
If the trial ends without a conviction for the lead defendant what then? Back to burning down the city?