10,000 on ignore, Book 158: The Days of Reckoning, Part 17.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Project Veritas: Matt Gaetz coverage is 'propaganda'
Darrell Lucus

How low has Matt Gaetz sunk? Well, Trumpworld is leaving Florida Man to twist in the wind. Practically the only people willing to defend him are fellow reprobates Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Well, add another bottom-feeder to the list—Project Veritas.
.......
James O’Keefe and his band of bottom-feeders just released a “sting” video in which CNN director Charlie Chester claimed its coverage of the Gaetz sex trafficking scandal is little more than propaganda.



Supposedly, CNN is out to run these stories because it knows Gaetz is big trouble for the blue team, so they have to run these stories to “keep hurting him and make sure it can’t be buried.”

There are a lot of problems with this beyond the near certainty, knowing O’Keefe, that Chester’s words were ripped out of context to the point of obscenity. For one, why would the Democrats be out to get someone in an R+22 district where a Democrat hasn’t cleared 40 percent of the vote in a presidential election since Carter, and where no Democratic congressional candidate has cleared 40 percent since the Republican tsunami of 1994? Barring anything unforeseen, Gaetz’ successor in FL-01 will be as much of a troglodyte as he is. If the Dems are going after him with both barrels, they’re wasting their time.

For another, consider that this was an investigation initiated by a REPUBLICAN attorney general. Throw in that it takes a lot more than probable cause for an arm of the Article II branch to investigate a member of the Article I branch. Oh, that’s right—in Trumpworld, Bill Barr is a deep stater and a swamp creature.

But the biggest problem of all? We now know that Joel Greenberg has been singing a medley to the feds for over a year. Explain that, James.

Project Veritas should have died a long time ago—if not for smearing Roy Moore’s accusers despite believing they sounded credible, then for helping feed the Big Lie. And now they’ve hitched their wagon to Gaetz. This cesspool’s reckoning is long overdue.


As a side note, the Mad Georgian is using this to googol down on her support of Florida Man. By all rights, this thread should live in infamy. Greene has proven that she is not only unfit to be in Congress. She’s an unfit mother. It’s all the more reason she belongs in the same dustbin as O’Keefe.
......

mumbles

Apr 13, 2021 at 08:55:35 PM

The CNN guy says the Gaetz thing as a hypothetical in the clip - not a statement of fact. Also, technical editors have little editorial input, if any.
 

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The voting restriction bill that recently passed in Georgia brought a lot of controversy to the state, and now Michigan might be next.

In response to a Republican-sponsored bill proposed in the Michigan legislature that would make it tougher for disenfranchised populations to exercise their constitutional right to vote, mlive.com reported that top executives from Detroit's four major sports teams signed a letter that objects to any legislation that makes it harder to vote.

Detroit Lions president Rod Wood, Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings owner Christopher Ilitch, and Detroit Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem all signed the letter that was released on Tuesday, before deliberations are expected to start in the Michigan Senate.

“Government must support equitable access to the ballot to ensure that all eligible voters can exercise their rights,” the letter says. “Government must avoid actions that reduce participation in elections — particularly among historically disenfranchised communities, persons with disabilities, older adults, racial minorities and low-income voters.”

In addition to sports executives, top executives from 30 of Michigans largest companies also signed on to the letter, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Ford, Quicken Loans and General Motors........
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The election technology company Smartmatic pushed back Monday against Fox News’ argument that it had covered the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election responsibly, stating that Fox anchors had played along as guests pushed election-related conspiracy theories.

“The First Amendment does not provide the Fox defendants a get-out-of-jail-free card,” Smartmatic’s lawyer, J. Erik Connolly, wrote in a brief filed in New York state Supreme Court. “The Fox defendants do not get a do-over with their reporting now that they have been sued.”

The brief came in response to motions filed by Fox Corporation and three current and former Fox hosts — Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs — to dismiss a Smartmatic lawsuit accusing them of defamation.......
 

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The White House says President Joe Biden will accompany his wife, Jill Biden, early Wednesday morning to an appointment where she will undergo a “common medical procedure.”

The White House says both Bidens will then return to the White House and “resume their normal schedule.”

Later Wednesday, the president is set to address the nation on his plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021. He will then visit Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of many American service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The White House did not immediately detail the nature of the first lady’s procedure.
 

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A police officer who authorities say shot and killed a Black man in a Minneapolis suburb after a traffic stop has been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter in the case, authorities said Wednesday.
Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter is charged in Sunday's shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said.

Potter was arrested late Wednesday morning by agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and will be booked into the Hennepin County Jail, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said.

In Minnesota, second-degree manslaughter applies when authorities allege a person causes someone's death by "culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another."

Someone convicted of this charge would face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. CNN has sought comment from Potter's attorney, Earl Gray........
 

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Gaetz frantically promotes Project Veritas video to discredit reporting on his sex trafficking ties
Laura Clawson

Two women who attended Florida parties with Rep. Matt Gaetz have described to CNN an environment in which people did drugs and had sex and money changed hands afterward. But get this—the description of these parties is supposed to make Gaetz look better than recent reporting on an investigation into whether he participated in sex trafficking of a minor: “One of the women who spoke to CNN said she did so in part because the picture of Gaetz as potentially connected to sex trafficking that has emerged in recent days does not align with what she saw.”

No, seriously: Matt Gaetz was at parties with cocaine and ecstasy and sex for money, and that’s supposed to be an improvement on the previous reporting, apparently because neither woman who spoke to CNN saw any obviously underage girls at those specific parties.
.......
The parties the women described to CNN sometimes functioned as after-parties to political events, happening in a gated community or in hotel suites. Women were asked to put away their cell phones—can’t have pictures getting out—and drugs including cocaine and ecstasy circulated. Gaetz himself took some kind of pills, according to one woman who described him acting like a “frat type of party boy.”

One of the women said that she was paid by former Seminole County tax commissioner Joel Greenberg, Gaetz’s associate, for providing sex, though she didn’t name names. Significantly, while she wouldn’t say who she did have sex with, she did say she never received money directly from Gaetz. So she was willing to exonerate him on one point, but not the other. We know, from Venmo records, that Gaetz has a history of sending Greenberg money to “hit up [woman’s name],” with Greenberg then sending the same amount of money on to multiple women. “Didn’t take money directly from Gaetz, but did take it from Greenberg,” then, doesn’t mean you didn’t get money from Gaetz. For sex.

Investigators may already know quite a lot more about this from Greenberg, who has been cooperating with federal law enforcement in hopes of getting a plea deal, and could conceivably testify against Gaetz (for whatever Greenberg’s credibility is worth at this point). A key point will be whether Greenberg can substantiate the reports of Gaetz being involved in sex trafficking a 17-year-old.

Gaetz, whose spokesman refused to comment for the CNN story, seems to have tried to get out ahead of it with a barrage of attacks on CNN, using a Project Veritas video of a CNN employee talking about the propaganda value of stories about Gaetz. The employee appears to be talking about hypothetical Democratic Party efforts to push Gaetz stories, but in the captioning, Project Veritas repeatedly puts “(CNN)” to make it look like he’s specifically saying that CNN is engaged in a sustained propaganda campaign against Gaetz. Even by Project Veritas standards, it’s a weak effort, but Gaetz had it as his pinned tweet on his personal Twitter account, and between that account and his official one, he had tweeted about this “story” at least 26 times. Talk about your stench of desperation.

The thing is, Gaetz can try to get ahead of any single CNN story. He can turn to the tried-and-true Republican tactic of attacking the media and painting himself as the victim of baseless propaganda more generally. He can’t get around federal investigators in the same way, especially given that we’re talking about an investigation that was started by the Trump Justice Department and which then-Attorney General William Barr took seriously enough to avoid being photographed with Gaetz. Gaetz is getting due process, but it still looks bad for him—bad enough for Donald Trump to be distancing himself, and you know that’s bad.
 

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Federal agents have reportedly seized the phone of Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is facing federal sex trafficking allegations, as reports suggest investigators have secured the cooperation of a close associate.

Federal agents executed a search warrant this winter during which they seized Gaetz's iPhone, Politico reported, citing three people who Gaetz had told about the situation.

The Florida GOP congressman reportedly changed his phone number in December last year, and his former girlfriend's phone was also seized in November, Politico reported........
 

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Powerful Republican Rep. Kevin Brady will retire from Texas House seat
Jeff Singer

GettyImages-542760006.jpg


Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, who serves as top Republican on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, announced Wednesday that he would not seek a 14th term representing Texas’ 8th Congressional District. This seat, which includes the suburbs and exurbs north of Houston, backed Donald Trump 71-28 in 2020, and there’s little question that it will remain safely red turf after the GOP-dominated legislature completes redistricting.

Brady acknowledged that he was leaving in part due to internal party term limits that would have cost him his committee post in the next Congress. As The Hill’s Scott Wong notes, though, the next-most senior Republican on the panel is none other than the infamous California Rep. Devin Nunes.
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Brady got his start in elected office in 1990 when he won a seat in the state House, and sought a promotion in 1996 to an open congressional district in what turned out to be an unexpectedly long campaign. Gene Fontenot, a wealthy physician who had unsuccessfully sought a different House seat two years before, led the primary with 36% of the vote, while Brady beat out another candidate 22-16 for the second runoff spot.

Fontenot took Brady to task for voting against the state’s concealed weapons law the previous year. Brady explained at the time how his father had been murdered while trying a case in a South Dakota courtroom, saying, “I couldn’t look Mom in the eye and vote for this.” (Brady would later become an ardent supporter of concealed carry laws.)

Brady won the Republican nomination 53-47, but just two months later, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that four Texas congressional seats be redrawn for that year’s elections because of racial gerrymandering; the 8th District was not singled out, but its lines were also altered by the subsequent round of mid-decade redistricting. The state ultimately allowed all-party primaries to take place that November in the impacted seats, and Fontenot decided to run again.

Brady this time took first place with 41%, which was below the majority he needed to avoid a December runoff, while Fontenot was just behind with 40%. Their fourth bout of the year was another nasty affair, with Fontenot labeling his opponent “Shady Brady.” Major GOP establishment figures, including then-Gov. George W. Bush and Sens. Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison, supported Brady, while Fontenot had the backing of social conservative leader Pat Robertson and defeated presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. Brady finally got his seat by winning their overtime contest 59-41.

Brady spent much of his time in Congress as a fairly low-profile figure who was close to the party’s leadership. In late 2014, he lost an internal party battle with Paul Ryan for the right to chair the Ways and Means Committee; the Washington Post would say later that Brady had “been criticized by lobbyists for his lack-luster fundraising performance and relatively weak private-sector connections.”

Ryan ended up becoming speaker a year later, however, and this time, he supported Brady’s successful bid to replace him as chairman. Brady would later use his powerful perch to help push through Trump’s 2017 tax bill.


The only time Brady had a serious re-election fight was 2016, when he faced a primary challenge from former state Rep. Steve Toth. Toth campaigned as an anti-establishment Republican who argued that Brady was out of step with the district’s conservative values. Brady took the challenge seriously and massively outspent Toth to win 53-37. The incumbent had no trouble winning his final two terms afterward.
 

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Donald Trump isn't the future of the GOP ... Matt Gaetz's ghost is
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the country and Donald Trump transformed his body into a Carl’s Jr. grease trap, Trump himself has all but Brundlefly’d the Republican Party—to the point where I don’t know what the **** it is anymore.

What are the GOP’s principles? Well, four years of Trump showed us what they aren’t. They don’t stand for fiscal responsibility or family values anymore. Small government? We spent much of the last year watching small-government principles at work. Only they weren’t small-government principles so much as incompetent-government principles. And Americans were not impressed.

Is the party a sturdy bulwark against socialism? Well, that kind of went out the window when the government started sending free money to people with no questions asked. People liked that, and so now Republicans have to explain why blowing up the deficit was a good thing when the benefits went to the already wealthy but a disaster when they flowed to we the people.

Are they about standing up to cancel culture and “woke” politics? Yeah, that’s closer, even though they show their hypocrisy every damn day by advocating for the cancelation of entities, like Major League Baseball, that they’ve deemed insufficiently—er, what’s the word?—woke?

So who—and what—is the future of the Republican Party? One is tempted to say Donald Trump, but come on. Look at the guy. He’s basically an ill-tempered braunschweiger with a glitchy Play-Doh Fun Factory for a heart. Seeing him shamble through life is like watching an old Mr. Magoo cartoon. It’s only a matter of time before he falls down a manhole and we forget about him forever.

So what’s left? Matt Gaetz, essentially.

...........
This occurred to me as I read Abigail Tracy’s recent Vanity Fair profile of Gaetz. The piece makes clear that Gaetz isn’t as interested in doing the job of a House member as he is in pretending and performing. Which, it occurs to me, is all the Republican Party as a whole is interested in anymore.

Gaetz’s recent sex scandal may end up being his Waterloo, but until The New York Times reported that he’s being investigated for the alleged trafficking of a 17-year-old girl, he was, for all intents and purposes, the giant, frat-boy face of the GOP. And he seemed to come out of nowhere, like black mold in your ba
sement.


Like Trump, Gaetz’s milieu is the media. A regular refrain from him is “stagecraft is statecraft.” And his book Firebrand lays out a view that a prominent profile is more powerful than a leadership position. “It’s impossible to get canceled if you’re on every channel,” he wrote, dismissing criticism from former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that he appeared on television too much. “Politics, they say, is show business for ugly people. The real question is who writes the scripts and produces the acts. You are governed by the theater geeks from high school, who went on to make it big booking guests on the talk shows,” Gaetz writes. “Ignore them and they’ll ignore you, and you’ll go nowhere fast.”

Yup, it’s all theater. Never mind working on behalf of your constituents.

Gaetz is a natural showman. And with a reality-television star in the Oval Office, the Trump-era—defined by performative politics—was made for him. His focus on appearance was present throughout the day I spent with him. My first in-person glimpse of the congressman was him applying concealer in front of a large mirror in his office. Later, in a greenroom at CPAC, he would express glee at a Dyson hairdryer, which he told his chief of staff, Jillian Lane Wyant, “changed my life.”

“I think that a lot of people who watch Fox News daily were familiar with me last year,” he said. “I think this year, as a consequence of impeachment…a few more folks seemed to recognize me.”

Yes, they did. And now even more people recognize him.

As Tracy notes in her Vanity Fair piece, Gaetz originally entered Congress a nobody who felt a little intimidated by the accomplishments of his veteran colleagues. He was so run-of-the-mill, in fact, he initially supported Jeb! Bush in 2016. But, as he tells Tracy, “We have managed to get it right since then.”

”It,” of course, means being a showboating, self-aggrandizing asshole.


And while there may still be a few GOP fossils who are more interested in governing than blowing shit up and blaming Democrats for the pile of cinders, Gaetz isn’t one of these, and there are plenty of folks ready, willing, and able to step into his role when he’s gone.

They know they have nothing left but distraction, so get ready for more Gaetzes. He and Donald Trump have shown this vicious hallelujah chorus of gas bags the way.

Gaetz himself might not be the future of the party, but his clones are hatching as we speak. Many are already here. And the further off the rails the party goes, the more they’ll want to punish the rest of us with their performative perfidy.
 

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Brutal watchdog report finds the Capitol Police knew 'Congress itself is the target' on Jan. 6
Laura Clawson

The Capitol Police absolutely did know that the crowd of Trump supporters on Jan. 6 was threatening violence, and that “Congress itself is the target,” a new inspector general’s report confirms. But the agency’s leadership not only failed to act on that, it did the reverse, not allowing the Civil Disturbance Unit to use its most serious crowd-control equipment and techniques.

The warning from a Capitol Police intelligence assessment three days before the attack could not have been much more explicit, noting that a map of the Capitol’s underground tunnels had been posted online.
.......
“Unlike previous postelection protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the inspector general’s report quotes the threat assessment. “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”


Skip forward to Jan. 5—the day the FBI’s Norfolk field office forwarded a social media thread with threats like “Get violent … stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal”—and Capitol Police leadership concluded, in a plan for handling the next day’s events, that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.”

In February, Steven Sund, the former chief of the Capitol Police, testified to the Senate, saying “None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred.” He added, “These criminals came prepared for war.”

Yes, they did. As they repeatedly pledged on social media to do. As the Capitol Police intelligence assessment warned days before the attack. As Sund and his leadership somehow … overlooked, as they planned for the kind of protest that could be controlled by the simplest metal barricades and an underequipped, understaffed roster of police.

As a result, “Heavier, less-lethal weapons”—you know, the kind you’ve seen used against far, far less threatening protesters time and time again if they’re carrying Black Lives Matter or Water is Life signs—“were not used that day because of orders from leadership.”

............
The report from Michael Bolton, the inspector general for the Capitol Police, also notes that there were significant equipment failures that day, as well as that training and audits of equipment hadn’t been kept up.

But as damning as it is, Bolton’s report leaves significant questions, Dan Froomkin of Press Watch argues. Froomkin obtained part of the report—which is not public—and wrote that “the part of the report I saw doesn’t get into why officials weren’t more alarmed. It doesn’t address the either covert or overt role of racism. I see no sign that, to this day, anyone—not the inspector general, not congressional overseers, and certainly not journalists—has gotten hold of contemporaneous correspondence between the key players or any other evidence that would offer insight into their states of mind.” That’s significant.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren has called Bolton to testify before a House panel on Thursday. There should be questions about this, because the investigation needs to keep going deeper. We know the Capitol Police failed. This inspector general’s report tells us more about how they failed.
Why did they fail?

Republicans are trying to prevent a serious assessment of what happened, getting in the way of the 9/11 Commission-style independent investigation House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for. If Republicans make that kind of investigation impossible, she told USA Today, investigations by existing congressional committees will continue, and a select committee is “always an option.” That said, “It’s not my preference in any way. My preference would be to have a commission.” But Republicans have their reasons for wanting to keep what happened on Jan. 6—and in particular what motivated the insurrectionists—obscured. They may not be able to stop investigations, but they especially don't want an investigation from an independent commission that will command added media and public attention.

This inspector general’s report once again makes clear why it’s so desperately important that we learn what really happened.
 
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Forensic pathologist named in lawsuit for his medical opinion is best Chauvin defense can do
Lauren Floyd

As problematic as the defense’s expert witness is in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin—and he is problematic—the doctor still couldn’t manage to offer Chauvin a verified and assured escape route. The closest Dr. David Fowler, a forensic pathologist, came was an obscure game of what-ifs that had Floyd dying from causes as varied as heart disease, drug use, and car fumes.

None of the theories, however, seemed to outrank Fowler’s answer to an important element of the case. “Do you feel that Mr. Floyd should have been given immediate emergency attention to try to reverse the cardiac arrest?” Jerry Blackwell, an attorney for the prosecution, asked. The doctor responded: “As a physician, I would agree.” The central element of Chauvin’s trial, however, is cause.



Chauvin kneeled on Floyd for more than nine minutes while he called for his mother and repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. He is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

His attorney, Eric Nelson, started the trial day Wednesday by asking the court for a judgment of acquittal, a common strategy for defense attorneys, New York Times reporter John Eligon wrote in the newspaper’s live coverage. Nelson attempted to argue that medical examiner Andrew Baker only ruled Floyd's death a homicide "for medical purposes."

"As expected, Judge Peter A. Cahill denies it," Eligon wrote.

Another of Cahill’s rulings hampered the defense’s attempt to paint Floyd as his own killer because of his drug addiction. It came in the form of an attempted link to accused drug dealer Morries Lester Hall, a friend of Floyd's who was with him before his death. Hall took the stand on Wednesday to formally invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, which his attorney had been warning of for several days. Adrienne Cousins, Hall's attorney, said in court on Wednesday that her client’s car has been searched twice and drugs have been found inside of it both times. “If he puts himself in that car, he exposes himself to possession charges,” the attorney said. Cahill found her reasoning valid, and the trial went on without Hall’s testimony.


Questioning centered on Fowler, a former chief medical examiner in Maryland. The doctor retired from his position in 2019 and is currently named in a lawsuit from the family of Anton Black, another Black man killed by police. "As Maryland medical examiner, Fowler claimed that Anton died of natural causes, saying that his bipolar disorder was a contributing factor, rather than the weight pressed on Anton while he was held facedown by three white officers and a white civilian," the ACLU of Maryland said in a news release on Wednesday.

Sonia Kumar, a senior staff attorney for the organization, said in a statement that "under Dr. Fowler's leadership" the Maryland medical examiner's office has been "complicit in creating false narratives about what kills Black people in police encounters, including Tyrone West, Tawon Boyd, Anton Black, and too many others." She added:

“The medical examiner’s office ruled that Anton Black’s death was not a homicide even though video showed police chase him, tase him, and pin him face down to the ground after he was handcuffed and at which point he stopped breathing. The medical examiner blamed Anton for his own death — peppering its report with false claims about laced drugs, a heart condition, and even Anton’s bipolar disorder — instead of the police who killed him. The family was forced to pay for outside experts help to understand what really killed Anton.”

And so began Fowler’s testimony in the Chauvin case.



Fowler testified in court that he believed Floyd underwent a cardiac arrhythmia and that his history of drug use, heart disease, and carbon monoxide exposure from the squad car during his detainment contributed to the arrhythmia. “All of those combined to cause Mr. Floyd’s death,” Fowler said.



Let the doctor tell it, because Floyd’s neck wasn’t bruised. it also wasn’t really impacted. "It speaks to the amount of force applied to Mr. Floyd was less than enough to bruise him," Fowler said.



But in this case heightened with multiple clips of body-camera footage, witness video, and surveillance clips, what Fowler couldn’t do was completely bend the truth to his will. Blackwell was able to tear down his reasoning—or more accurately, get the doctor to tear down his own reasoning—point by point. Fowler admitted that he's seen no air monitoring data that would inform him on how much, if any, carbon monoxide would've been in Floyd's breathing zone. Fowler agreed with the prosecution that even if Chauvin and other officers weren’t on Floyd’s neck, their weight on a person's abdomen or torso could also cause compressional or positional asphyxia, a lack of oxygen flow to the brain.

"If it exceeds the limits of 225 pounds as found by multiple studies, then yes your argument is correct," Fowler said.



He had earlier said: “Speaking and making noise is very good evidence that the airway was not closed.”

That account is contrary to that of prosecution witnesses Martin Tobin, a Chicago pulmonologist and critical care physician, and Bill Smock, an emergency medical physician. “Mr. Floyd died from positional asphyxia, which is a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen left in his body,” Smock said in earlier testimony. Tobin explained that the level of oxygen in Floyd’s body dropped to zero, and at that point “there’s not an ounce of oxygen left in his body.”