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Paramedic says he wasn’t told George Floyd wasn’t breathing

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Paramedic says he wasn’t told George Floyd wasn’t breathing

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — A paramedic who treated George Floyd the day he was killed testified Wednesday at the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers that he was not told Floyd was not breathing and not breathing. had no pulse when officers were upgraded the emergency to an ambulance call.

Derek Smith said after arriving on May 25, 2020, he could not find a pulse in Floyd’s neck and the black man’s pupils were large, indicating “the patient was likely deceased.”

Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are widely accused of stripping Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority in the killing that has sparked global protests and a re-examination of racism and discrimination. the police.

Prosecutors say the three officers failed to act to save Floyd’s life as fellow officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes while Floyd was handcuffed, face down and on edge of breath. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back, Lane held his legs and Thao held back bystanders, prosecutors say.

In this image from surveillance video, left-leaning Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are seen attempting to arrest George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn on May 25, 2020.

Short TV via AP, pool, file

On body camera footage of Lane played for the jurors, Smith asks Lane what happened. Lane recounts the officers’ response to a 911 call that Floyd attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store and a struggle as Floyd forced his way out of a police cruiser. He says the officers were “basically holding him down until you got here”. Lane says nothing about Floyd’s medical condition.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda Sertich sought to show jurors that paramedics were not given material information, noting that Smith was not told Floyd had been detained for more than 9 minutes. She also convinced Smith that CPR should have been started as soon as possible – something the officers were trained to do.

Smith said paramedics put Floyd in the ambulance and took him to another location for treatment for many reasons, including passers-by using “high tones”. In the ambulance, Lane performed chest compressions and Smith used a heart monitor which showed there was no electrical impulse in Floyd’s heart. Paramedics also treated him by creating an airway, inserting an IV and trying to provide other lifesaving measures.

Defense attorneys pushed back. Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, asked Smith if Lane had been helpful in trying to revive Floyd, including squeezing an airbag to try to ventilate Floyd’s lungs. “In my opinion, it was useful, yes. Thank you,” Smith said.

Robert Paule, an attorney for Thao, had Smith told that he wouldn’t have taken Floyd to another location to work on him if it hadn’t been for the bystanders.

Cross-examined by Paule, Smith also acknowledged that he feared Floyd was in a state of “excited delirium” – an agitated state in which someone is described as having extraordinary strength.

Some medical examiners in recent decades have attributed deaths in custody to excited delirium, often in cases where the person became extremely agitated after taking drugs, having a mental health episode or another health condition. But there’s no universally accepted definition, and researchers said it’s not well understood. A 2020 study concluded that it is primarily only cited as a cause when the deceased person has been brought under control.

Kueng, who is black; Lane, who is white; and Thao, who is Hmong American, are all charged with failing to provide medical care to Floyd, while Thao and Kueng face an additional charge for failing to arrest Chauvin, who is white. Both counts allege that the officers’ actions resulted in Floyd’s death.

Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter last year and also pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge.

Prosecutors argued in pretrial filings that even bystanders could see that Floyd needed medical attention and that officers, who had basic medical training, did not help.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said the trial could last four weeks.

Lane’s attorney said his client will testify, but it’s unclear whether Thao or Kueng will. It’s also unclear if Chauvin will testify, though many experts who spoke to The Associated Press believe he won’t.

Lane, Kueng and Thao will also face a separate trial in June for aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.

Webber contributed from Fenton, Michigan.

Paramedic says he wasn’t told George Floyd wasn’t breathing

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