Maryland officials will conduct an investigation into all deaths that happened in police custody that were overseen by the state’s former chief medical examiner, who testified as a defense witness in the trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Maryland attorney general and governor’s offices announced Friday. Chauvin was convicted last week of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd,
Dr. David Fowler, who was Maryland’s chief medical examiner from 2002 to 2019 and is now a member of a consulting firm, testified that the primary cause of Floyd’s death was a sudden heart rhythm disturbance during police restraint due to underlying heart disease.
The retired forensic pathologist also said the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system, and possible carbon monoxide poisoning from auto exhaust, were contributing factors in his death. Fowler’s testimony contradicted other experts who testified Floyd died due to a lack of oxygen. He also classified Floyd’s manner of death as “undetermined,” breaking from even Hennepin County’s medical examiner, who ruled it a homicide.