Ben Shapiro Pushes “Structural Gaslighting” Lies About Derek Chauvin Trial’s Key Issue

`Derek Chauvin is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, but a handful of right-wing media figures are still fighting to defend the former officer. Ben Shapiro tweeted on Monday, twisting the state prosecution’s case and the medical examiner’s facts, and claimed there were “serious problems” with the case.

[Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images]

While prosecutors present information about Floyd’s death from a variety of sources, Shapiro tweeted a Star Tribune article about the state relying on evidence from additional experts, including some that contradict certain parts of the initial findings by medical examiner Dr. Andrew Baker.

“Structural gaslighting,” a dozen physicians writing for Scientific American last summer called the misinformation around George Floyd’s death and the contents of the medical examiner’s autopsy. They describe headlines that focus on Floyd’s medical conditions and the fentanyl content in his body as a “framing of the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death [that is] at best, a misinterpretation, and at worst, a deliberate obfuscation.”

“The state is fighting its own medical examiner,” Shapiro tweeted, pointing out that Baker’s report did not conclude that Floyd died of asphyxiation.

Instead, Special Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said that 6 outside medical experts would make the case for asphyxiation based on their knowledge. However, what Shapiro does not mention is the portion of Dr. Baker’s autopsy report that is not contradicted by the prosecution’s other witnesses: the ruling of homicide.

A forensic pathologist explained in MedPage Today last summer, however, that headlines had it wrong. Dr. Baker’s autopsy report had not concluded that Chauvin hadn’t killed Floyd, or that the contributing factors would have killed the victim without the officer’s actions.

“The death certificate’s “other significant conditions” — Floyd’s natural heart disease and the presence of drugs of abuse in his tested blood — do not excuse the officers, nor should they cause anyone to blame the victim. They are there on the death certificate because those findings, in the opinion of the medical examiner, would have made his death more likely. They are not the cause of death. The cause of death is police restraint.”

In fact, as the Scientific American article linked above affirms, the autopsy report done by private doctors at the behest of Floyd’s family, and the one released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office have one important conclusion in common:

Both reports stated that the cause of Floyd’s death was homicide: death at the hands of another.

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