An independent autopsy called George Floyd’s death a homicide and determined he died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” — a finding that is at odds with the medical examiner.
The autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family says compression to the neck and back, caused by
officers kneeling on him, led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.
Floyd was essentially “dead on the scene” in Minneapolis on May 25, Ben Crump, attorney for the
family, said Monday.
Multiple videos of Floyd’s death show former police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, along
with other officers kneeling on his back.
Hennepin County medical examiner says Floyd didn’t suffocate
The independent autopsy’s findings came after the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found “no
physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” according to a criminal
complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office on Friday.
Preliminary autopsy results cited in the complaint involving Chauvin said combined effects of being
restrained, any potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart
disease, probably contributed to the man’s death. Toxicology results can take weeks.
The complaint noted the findings are preliminary and the full report from the medical examiner is
Dr. Michael Baden, one of the independent medical examiners, said “there is no other health issue that
could cause or contribute to the death.”
“Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That’s not true,” Baden said.
Floyd’s cause and manner of death remain pending and is being investigated by local, state and federal
law enforcement, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement.
“George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air,” Crump told reporters.
Attorney calling for charges against all officers
Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in total and two minutes and 53
seconds after Floyd was unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin.
Floyd was dead within four minutes after he was held to the ground, the independent examiners said.
The fired officer has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Crump
said he should be charged with first-degree murder.
The other three officers seen in the video have been fired, but not charged.
Floyd family attorney Antonio Romanucci said the three “need to be charged criminally” since, he said,
“they knew what they were doing could cause death.”
A homicide is the death of a person caused directly by another person. It includes murder and
manslaughter. In order to be culpable, you only need to know that what you’re doing could cause death,
“They knew they were employing restraints that could or might cause death,” he said.
Protests erupt across the country after Floyd’s death
Floyd’s death was just another in a string of incidents that illustrate law enforcement’s continued strained
relationship with African American men. In the days following Floyd’s death, protests that erupted in
cities across the country called for justice.
Protests over the weekend typically began peacefully during the day, then sometimes turned violent at
night, with protesters hurling rocks and other objects at police and officers firing tear gas and rubber
bullets on crowds.
Crump, the Floyd family attorney, called on Americans to end the violence and destruction caused by
“We understand the righteous anger,” Crump said. “But the violence is absolutely unacceptable.
Unacceptable to George and unacceptable to us.”( cnn / im )