Joe Bast | September 5, 2022

During his nightly television show on Fox News on August 4, Tucker Carlson disputed the claim that George Floyd was “murdered” by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. According to Carlson, Floyd, the drug addict in Minneapolis being arrested for trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, died of a fentanyl overdose.

Carlson was right that no murder took place, and it is good to hear someone say that on national television. But he was wrong about the cause of death.

Carlson said, “So they destroy the city, they put this cop in prison for the rest of his life, we all have to pretend he committed murder—which he didn’t, but whatever, we have to pretend it—and then they leave and they move on to the next thing to destroy.”

John Dale Dunn, who is both a lawyer and a medical doctor, studied the details of the George Floyd case and has written several lengthy commentaries on it. Writing for American Thinker, he says “I have done a video demonstration with two male subjects that shows that there is no way that Officer Chauvin killed Mr. Floyd with the same prone restraint seen in the video of Mr. Floyd’s restraint and death. My analysis of the events is that the combination of drugs, excitement, exertion, and a bad heart caused Mr. Floyd to die from cardiac arrest — just like a man who dies shoveling snow.”

This “combination of drugs, excitement, [and] exertion” is known in the medical establishment as “excited delirium.” Dr. Dunn knows quite a lot about it. “I have seen and treated hundreds of cases of delirium caused by alcohol, PCP, LSD, and cocaine, of course, as well as medical or mental health disorders that affected brain function. Delirium is real and often violent.”

The hold Officer Chauvin applied to Floyd, according to Dr. Dunn, could not have been the direct cause of Floyd’s death. The autopsy showed no neck or chest injury damage and no brain injuries from lack of oxygen, and Floyd’s “face and eyes had no petechial hemorrhages (small bleeding spots), which are an important sign of asphyxiation or strangulation.” However, the autopsy did reveal the true cause of death: coronary disease and hypertensive heart disease.

The pathologist, Dr. Andrew Baker, bowed to public pressure and was afraid to say the obvious, that Floyd died because of his heart disease while resisting arrest. That may or may not be a tragedy for the rest of us, but it was not murder. And it surely did not justify the bloody riots that broke out around the country supposedly to protest a grave injustice.

Back to Tucker Carlson’s remarks, death from excited delirium is different from death by drug overdose. Floyd was a frequent heavy fentanyl user, but the amount in his blood was not lethal for him, nor was the level of methamphetamine. Floyd’s levels were 11 and 19 nanograms respectively for fentanyl and meth, “high enough to be intoxicating but not lethal,” Dr. Dunn writes. Lethal fentanyl levels range from 3 to more than 100 nanograms per milliliter and vary because of the extreme potency of fentanyl and the high fentanyl tolerance of frequent users. Lethal levels of meth are in the hundreds of nanograms per milliliter.

Death by fentanyl overdose, according to Dr. Dunn, occurs like death from heroin or morphine overdose; the patient falls asleep and stops breathing. That did not happen in the case of Mr. Floyd. He was struggling and excited when he died a sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia, “just like the guys who die running or swimming or shoveling snow.”

More people need to speak the truth about what happened in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Certainly justice for Officer Chauvin demands it. Those who lied to jurors and the American people should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.

For more, see Dr. Dunn’s essay on American Thinker at

Tucker Carlson Was Half Right about the Death of George Floyd