Fentanyl wasn’t what slowed George Floyd’s breathing, lung expert testifies in Derek Chauvin trial

Fentanyl in his body didn’t play a role in slowing George Floyd’s breathing before he ultimately died, a lung expert testified on Thursday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The defence has argued drugs, rather than Mr Chauvin’s knee being pressed into Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during the arrest, caused the death.

According to Dr Martin Tobin, an ICU doctor and lung expert from Loyola University who testified on behalf of the state, video evidence of the arrest didn’t suggest fentanyl was affecting Mr Floyd’s breathing. Fentanyl, Mr Tobin, is a powerful opioid which can slow the breathing rate, but Mr Floyd continued to take breaths at a normal clip before passing out.

“It tells you that there isn’t fentanyl on board that is affecting his respiratory centers,” Dr Tobin said.

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