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Minneapolis police chief: Officers are trained in de-escalation techniques

Minneapolis police chief: Officers are trained in
de-escalation techniques 1
Witness Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld testifies on April 5 in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis.  Court TV/Pool/AP

Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, an emergency physician at Hennepin County Medical Center who provided treatment to George Floyd, just testified that “hypoxia” was a likely cause of George Floyd’s cardiac arrest.

Dr. Langenfeld said: “There was no obvious, significant external trauma that would have suggested he suffered anything that could produce bleeding to lead to a cardiac arrest.” 

He continued: “Based on the history that was available to me, I felt that hypoxia was one of the more likely possibilities.”

In a follow up question, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell had the doctor clarify that “hypoxia” refers to “cardiac arrest meaning oxygen insufficiency.” He said that is correct.

Asked again by the prosecuting attorney if the doctor’s “leading theory then for the cause of Mr. Floyd’s cardiac arrest” was oxygen deficiency, Dr. Langenfeld said:

“That was one of the more likely possibilities. I felt at the time based on information I had, it was more likely than the other possibilities.”

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The doctor said that “asphyxia” is another name for “death by oxygen deficiency.”

“Asphyxia is a commonly understood term,” he noted.

Dr. Langenfeld testified that Floyd was in the care of his emergency department for “approximately 30 minutes” and then he pronounced Floyd formally dead.

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