David Fowler

Dr David Fowler is a Zimbabwean born American pathologist. He is known for testifying for the defence in the murder trial of fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged with killing George Floyd.


Fowler was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.[1]


Fowler graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1983. He proceeded to do a residency in forensic pathology before moving to Baltimore in 1991.[1]


He served as the chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland until he resigned in 2019. Fowler is also a former professor at Johns Hopkins University.[2]

Anton Black Lawsuit

Fowler was sued for civil rights violations and covering for police stating they did nothing wrong in the murder of Anton Black. Fowler signed a medical examiner's report stating that Black's death was an accident caused by his heart issues. According to the lawsuit, Fowler also named bipolar disorder as a contributing factor.

As a result of the medical exam signed by Fowler, no officer was ever charged in Black's death. In the lawsuit, Black's family accuses Fowler of covering for the police department.[2]

A lawyer for Fowler filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which remains pending.[1][2]

George Floyd Trial

Dr Fowler reviewed Floyd’s case for the defence and told the court on Wednesday 14 April 2021 that he considered the cause of death to be undetermined.

Fowler stated there were many factors that could have contributed to his death, including heart disease and exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes during his restraint by the police.

He said Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck was not a significant factor in his death adding the deceased was living with up to a 90 percent narrowing of his arteries before he died.

Dr Fowler also argued that Chauvin’s knee wasn’t near Floyd’s airway. He, however, agreed that Mr Floyd should have been given immediate medical attention when he went into cardiac arrest as there still was a chance to save his life.

Fowler's theory on Floyd's death — which he said was caused by a sudden heart event — matches the one he gave in the 2018 death of 19-year-old Anton Black, a Black man who died after being restrained and pinned to the ground by police.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 George Floyd case: Pathologist trained in SA testifies for defence - after being sued in similar case, Business Insider, Published: April 15, 2021, Retrieved: April 17, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Haven Orecchio-Egresitz, A forensic pathologist being sued by the family of a Black man killed by police is testifying for Derek Chauvin's defense, Insider, Published: April 14, 2021, Retrieved: April 17, 2021