Medical examiners confirm George Floyd’s death WAS homicide, supporting independent autopsy

A medical examiner’s office on Monday ruled that George Floyd’s death was a homicide as they appeared to walk back initial reports that he wasn’t strangled when a Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest last week.  

The medical examiner’s finding that the death was a homicide by asphyxiation confirms the same conclusion of the independent autopsy that was also released on Monday, but there are key differences over the cause.

A press release from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said that Floyd, who cried out that he couldn’t breathe as Officer Derek Chauvin pinned him down by kneeling on his neck, had ‘recent methamphetamine use’ and ‘fentanyl intoxication’ – along with hypertension and coronary artery disease – all of which were possible contributing factors to his death.

But two doctors who carried out that independent autopsy of the 46-year-old and two attorneys for his family said that he had no underlying health conditions that may have contributed to his death. 

They argued that not only the officer who was kneeing Floyd’s neck killed him, but also two officers who were pressing their weight onto Floyd’s back while he was on the ground.

They added that they did not have information on toxicology and any drug or alcohol use by Floyd.

A medical examiner's office on Monday ruled that George Floyd's death was a homicide as they appeared to walk back initial reports that the 46-year-old (pictured) wasn't strangled when a Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest last week

A medical examiner's office on Monday ruled that George Floyd's death was a homicide as they appeared to walk back initial reports that the 46-year-old (pictured) wasn't strangled when a Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest last week

A medical examiner’s office on Monday ruled that George Floyd’s death was a homicide as they appeared to walk back initial reports that the 46-year-old (pictured) wasn’t strangled when a Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest last week 

Bystander video showed Floyd pleading to be let up and saying repeatedly that he couldn't breath as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes. The medical examiner's finding that the death was a homicide by asphyxiation confirms the same conclusion of the independent autopsy that was also released on Monday, but there are key differences over the cause

Bystander video showed Floyd pleading to be let up and saying repeatedly that he couldn't breath as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes. The medical examiner's finding that the death was a homicide by asphyxiation confirms the same conclusion of the independent autopsy that was also released on Monday, but there are key differences over the cause

Bystander video showed Floyd pleading to be let up and saying repeatedly that he couldn’t breath as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes. The medical examiner’s finding that the death was a homicide by asphyxiation confirms the same conclusion of the independent autopsy that was also released on Monday, but there are key differences over the cause

Dr Allecia Wilson of the University of Michigan, one of the two forensic doctors who performed the independent autopsy, said the evidence pointed to homicide by ‘mechanical asphyxia’ meaning from some physical force that interfered with oxygen supply.

While the county’s full autopsy report has not yet been released – Monday’s press release appeared to show authorities walked back their conclusions on what killed Floyd.

The original criminal complaint against Chauvin cited the medical examiner’s office when it said it found no findings of ‘strangulation or asphyxia’.

Carolyn Marinan, a spokeswoman for Hennepin County, did not confirm any reversal, saying only that Monday’s press release were the ‘final findings’.  

Dr Michael Baden (pictured) and Dr Allecia Wilson performed an independent autopsy on Floyd at his family's request

Dr Michael Baden (pictured) and Dr Allecia Wilson performed an independent autopsy on Floyd at his family's request

At a press conference on Monday,  Baden and Wilson (pictured) said the sustained pressure applied by Chauvin on Floyd's neck impeded blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by two other officers, who placed their knees into his back, also limited his ability to breathe

At a press conference on Monday,  Baden and Wilson (pictured) said the sustained pressure applied by Chauvin on Floyd's neck impeded blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by two other officers, who placed their knees into his back, also limited his ability to breathe

Dr Michael Baden (left) and Dr Allecia Wilson (right) performed an independent autopsy on Floyd at his family’s request. At a press conference Monday they said the sustained pressure applied by Chauvin on Floyd’s neck impeded blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by two other officers, who placed their knees into his back, also limited his ability to breathe

Independent autopsy finds that Floyd’s death was directly caused by police action 

Bystander video showed Floyd pleading to be let up and repeatedly saying ‘I can’t breathe’ as Chauvin pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes. 

Two other officers applied pressure with their knees to Floyd’s back while a fourth looked on.

Chauvin, who is white and was fired from the Minneapolis police department over the incident, was hit with third-degree murder and manslaughter charges last week as protests over Floyd’s death roiled the nation.

But Dr Michael Baden, who took part in the independent autopsy at the behest of Floyd’s family, said that the two other officers’ actions also caused Floyd to stop breathing.

‘We can see after a little bit less than four minutes that Mr Floyd is motionless, lifeless,’ Baden said.

He countered the argument that if Floyd could speak then he could breathe, saying: Many police are under the impression that if you can talk, that means you’re breathing. That is not true. 

‘I am talking right now in front of you and not taking a breath.’

Baden also refuted the idea that Floyd had coronary artery disease. In a comment in reference to his age group’s susceptibility to coronavirus, the 85-year-old quipped: ‘I wish I had the same coronary arteries that Mr Floyd had.’ 

Baden has worked on several high-profile cases, including the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being placed in an unlawful chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in New York City.  

Panteleo, whose actions were caught on video, wasn’t criminally charged but was fired from the police force in 2019. 

Baden also previously conducted an autopsy on convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein that suggested he may have been murdered, in addition to testifying at the OJ Simpson murder trial. 

Chauvin was arrested and charged last Friday over the death of George Floyd

Chauvin was arrested and charged last Friday over the death of George Floyd

Chauvin was arrested and charged last Friday over the death of George Floyd

Chauvin was arrested and charged last Friday over the death of George Floyd

Chauvin was arrested and charged last Friday over the death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white cop who has since been arrested, was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd's neck for eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe (incident pictured)

Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white cop who has since been arrested, was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd's neck for eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe (incident pictured)

Chauvin was taken into custody on Friday after protesters called for him to be arrested. He has been charged with third-degree murder

Chauvin was taken into custody on Friday after protesters called for him to be arrested. He has been charged with third-degree murder

Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white cop who has since been arrested, was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe (incident pictured)

Floyd’s family demands charges against all four officers involved 

Antonio Romanucci and Ben Crump, the attorneys representing the Floyd family, said that all four officers at the scene should be facing charges, not just Chauvin.

Crump added the independent autopsy and video evidence make it clear that Floyd was dead while he was still lying on the street with police atop him.

‘That ambulance was his hearse,’ he said.

Crump and Romanucci called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder following the independent autopsy, and also said the other three officers involved in the incident – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – should be arrested as well, though they didn’t specify on what charges. 

‘They knew that they were applying restraints that could or would cause death,’ Romanucci said. ‘They are criminally liable because they knew what they were doing could lead to death.

‘Not only was the knee on George’s neck a cause of his death, but so was the weight of the other two police officers on his back, who not only prevented blood flow into his brain but also air flow into his lungs.’ 

Floyd’s family had disputed the county medical examiner’s findings last week, calling notions he had any underlying health conditions ‘an illusion’. 

But the family are also seeking an end to the violent protests that have beset the United States to end.

‘George died because he needed a breath, a breath of air,’ Crump said Monday. 

‘I implore you all to join his family in taking a breath – taking a breath for justice, taking a breath for peace.’      

Crump called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder, and also said the other three officers involved in the incident - J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - should be arrested as well, though didn't specify on what charges

Crump called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder, and also said the other three officers involved in the incident - J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - should be arrested as well, though didn't specify on what charges

Crump called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder, and also said the other three officers involved in the incident – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – should be arrested as well, though didn’t specify on what charges

Floyd’s younger brother, Terrence Floyd, appeared on Good Morning America on Monday, calling for the ‘destructive unity to end’.

Terrence said his brother ‘was about peace’ and believes the violence happening during demonstrations is ‘overshadowing’ Floyd’s memory. 

When asked what he thought about the violence at the protests, Terrence told GMA: ‘I do feel like it’s overshadowing what’s going on. Like I said he [Floyd] was about peace. He was about unity. But the things that’s transpiring now… they may call it unity but it’s destructive unity.

‘That’s not what my brother was about,’ Terrence added. ‘It’s okay to be angry, but channel your anger to do something positive or make a change another way because we’ve been down this road already.

‘The anger, damaging your hometown is not the way he’d want,’ he added. 

George Floyd’s funeral will be held in Houston, Texas, on June 9 — after a public viewing the night before, his family’s lawyer said Monday.  

Floyd's brother Terrence (center) visited a makeshift memorial honoring the 46-year-old in Minneapolis on Monday. The memorial was erected at the spot where Floyd was taken into custody last week

Floyd's brother Terrence (center) visited a makeshift memorial honoring the 46-year-old in Minneapolis on Monday. The memorial was erected at the spot where Floyd was taken into custody last week

Floyd’s brother Terrence (center) visited a makeshift memorial honoring the 46-year-old in Minneapolis on Monday. The memorial was erected at the spot where Floyd was taken into custody last week

Floyd's family had disputed the county medical examiner's findings last week, calling notions he had any underlying health conditions 'an illusion'

Floyd's family had disputed the county medical examiner's findings last week, calling notions he had any underlying health conditions 'an illusion'

Floyd’s family had disputed the county medical examiner’s findings last week, calling notions he had any underlying health conditions ‘an illusion’

On Sunday night, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said all four of the officer’s involved in Floyd’s arrest are ‘complicit’ in his death.

In the days since, protests erupted in Minneapolis before spreading to the White House, New York City and to numerous other states across the weekend. 

Crump and Floyd’s family have said people should continue protesting, but urged them to refrain from using violence or looting as George Floyd was ‘a man of peace’. 

Since last Thursday, authorities across the nation have arrested more than 4,100 people. At least three people have died since the protests began.  

Former President Barack Obama condemned the violent fallout Monday, urging activists to channel their anger into ‘peaceful, sustained, and effective action’ to help bring about real change.

‘Let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it,’ Obama wrote, declaring his support for those protesting peacefully. 

‘If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.’

George Floyd’s funeral will be held in Houston, Texas, on June 9 — after a public viewing the night before, his family’s lawyer said Monday.  

link

(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply