By Chris Williams
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville Metro Police Department has the only police surgeon in the United States his name is Dr. Bill Smock. Dr. Smock’s job is much different than those seen on true crime and forensic shows.
He mostly helps detectives with cases involving living victims and living patients. People in his line of work respected his reputation well before he made headlines as an expert witness in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
Every year those looking to learn from Dr. Smock race to Louisville for time with this one-of-a-kind doctor.
“That’s my passion to teach doctors, nurses, medical students, residents in the application of forensic medicine to that living patient that comes into the emergency department that has just as many forensic needs as someone who is dead, but they’re alive,” Dr. Bill Smock said.
His experience with strangulation and in-custody deaths made him a key figure in the George Floyd case.
“I certainly agreed with the medical examiner’s opinion, I do believe it was a homicidal death,” Dr. Smock said.
“We’ve never had a case like this in the history of the world where we had videotapes from so many different angles,” said Dr. Smock.
Which he says made finding the truth much easier.
Dr. Smock said in his testimony that Floyd died of positional asphyxia, which means all of the oxygen was squeezed out of Floyd’s lungs and he couldn’t breathe.
Helping juries understand the evidence in order to find justice is how he describes the work.
He also had a role in the Breonna Taylor case by reconstructing the injuries to Sergeant Mattingly by using forensic science to determine from where that bullet was fired.
“The bullet that struck Sgt. Mattingly’s superficial femoral artery came in from the front and exited out the back,” he said.
Smock expects to be called to testify in the trial of the other officers involved in George Floyd’s death.
For now, he’s back in Louisville, investigating cases, writing, and teaching the next generation of police surgeons.
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