Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell engaged Fowler, a medical expert for the defense, in a testy back-and-forth about the witness’s earlier description of an object inside Floyd’s mouth while Floyd was in Cup Foods.
During cross-examination, Blackwell showed photographs of Floyd in the store with something white in his mouth. Then Blackwell referred to Fowler’s earlier mention of Floyd having a white object in his mouth when police approached him.
“So would it be fair to say, in order to say that the white substance in Mr. Floyd’s mouth was a pill, in light of what you’ve seen, that would be jumping to a conclusion, wouldn’t it?” the prosecutor asked.
“Specifically, when I testified, I said there was a white object in his mouth,” Fowler replied. “That’s all I could discern from that. And I remember saying that under direct.”
“So you were not, then, either telling or suggesting to the jury that the white substance was a pill, are you?” Blackwell asked.
“I never said it was a pill,” Fowler replied. “I carefully said that I could see a white structure in his mouth. I did not want to classify it, and I didn’t.”
The question of what was in Floyd’s mouth is relevant to the defense’s argument that Floyd’s death was caused in part by the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.
Blackwell also challenged Fowler’s earlier characterization of a medical expert who had been critical of holding people in a prone position. The prosecutor reminded Fowler that he had said the expert had withdrawn his criticism. Then Blackwell showed a document in which the expert wrote that he had not changed his position.