Dr. Andrew Baker, Hennepin County's Chief Medical Examiner, testified on Friday afternoon at the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is being tried for the murder of George Floyd on May 25 2020.
"Official medical examiner confirms Floyd’s heart gave out due to heart disease, hypertension, drugs, and stress."
Baker, who originally ruled Floyd's death a homicide, was on the stand in the courtroom, where he gave his opinion as an expert on what exactly was the cause of death for Floyd:
"You know he already had very severe underlying heart disease."
"Umm, I don't know that we specifically got to it, Councillor, but Mr. Floyd also had what we call 'hypertensive heart disease', meaning his heart weighed more than it should." (this is also called a "large heart" colloquially.)
"So he has a heart that already needs more oxygen than a normal heart by virtue of its size, and it's limited in its ability to step up, to provide more oxygen when there's demand, because of the narrowing of his coronary arteries."
"Now, in the context of an altercation with other people that involves things like physical restraint, that involves things like being ... umm, held to the ground, that involves things like the pain you would incur from having you, you know, your cheek up against the asphalt, and an abrasion on your shoulder ... "
"Those events are going to cause stress hormones to pour out into your body, specifically, things like adrenaline."
"And what that adrenaline is going to do is to ask your heart to beat faster. It's going to ask your body for more oxygen so you can get through that altercation."
"And in my opinion, the law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of that, those heart conditions."
Despite these revelations, Dr. Baker maintained that Floyd's death should be classified as a homicide.