News Headlines 4/9/21

EXPERTS TESTIFY FLOYD DIED FROM LACK OF OXYGEN DUE TO BEING PINNED DOWN, NOT DRUGS: Medical experts testified Thursday (April 8th) in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin‘s murder and manslaughter trial in the death of George Floyd last May that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to being pinned down on the pavement with Chauvin’s knee on his neck, not from drugs and his underlying health conditions, which the defense contends.

Lung and critical care specialist Dr. Martin Tobin said that Floyd’s breathing was severely constricted when he was pinned down and that the lack of oxygen led to brain damage and caused his heart to stop. He said, “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died.” Tobin pointed to a moment in a video clip of the incident about five minutes after police began holding Floyd down when he said a change in Floyd’s face told him he was dead, stating, “That’s the moment the life goes out of his body.”

Dr. Bill Smock, the police surgeon for the Louisville, Kentucky, department who’s an expert on deaths from asphyxia, backed up Tobin in saying that drugs didn’t cause Floyd’s death. Although Floyd was found to have fentanyl in his system, Smock said he didn’t have symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, such as constricted pupils and decreased breathing. He said instead his actions were the opposite,  stating, “That is not a fentanyl overdose. That is somebody begging to breathe.” He blamed Floyd’s death on “positional asphyxia,” which is a lack of oxygen because of the position of the body.

BIDEN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON GUNS: President Biden announced several executive actions on guns at the White House on Thursday (April 8th), saying the U.S. has a, quote, “epidemic and international embarrassment” of gun violence, but said much more needs to be done. The new actions include a move to crack down on so-called “ghost guns,” which are homemade weapons that don’t have serial numbers and are often bought without a background check, and tightening regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces like the one used in last month’s mass shooting in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket that left 10 people dead. However, some of the more ambitious actions on guns that Biden wants to take he is unable to do without Congress, which would be a tough lift in the evenly-divided Senate. However, he did name some of them, including eliminating lawsuit exemptions for gun manufacturers, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing background check loopholes and passing the Violence Against Women Act.

FIVE KILLED BY EX-NFL PLAYER ADAMS, WHO THEN TOOK HIS OWN LIFE: Five people were shot and killed early Thursday (April 8th) in South Carolina by 32-year-old former NFL player Phillip Adams, who then took his own life. Killed at their Rock Hill home were prominent  70-year-old physician Dr. Robert Lesslie, his 69-year-old wife Barbara, and their grandchildren nine-year-old Adah and five-year-old Noah. A 38-year-old man who’d been working at the home, James Lewis, was found dead outside. A sixth person who’d also been working at the home, Robert Shook, was hospitalized in critical condition. York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said evidence at the scene led them to Adams as a suspect. They went to his parents’ home, had them leave, and tried to talk Adams into coming out, but eventually found him dead inside with a gunshot wound to his head. Tolson said they haven’t determined a motive.  AP cited a source as saying Adams had been treated by Lesslie, but Tolson wouldn’t confirm that.

  • Adams played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams, although he rarely started, and ended his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

TEXAS MAN KILLS ONE, WOUNDS FIVE AT WORKPLACE: A 27-year-old Texas man is accused of killing one person and wounding five others, two of them critically, when he allegedly opened fire yesterday (April 8th) at the Bryan, Texas, cabinet-making company where he worked. A state trooper was also shot and wounded before Larry Winston Bollin was arrested about two hours after the shooting about 25 miles away. Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske said he believes Bollin was an employee at the Kent Moore Cabinets location where the afternoon attack happened. A motive hasn’t yet been determined.