George Floyd, who died after being choked by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last Monday, succumbed to asphyxiation as a result of Chauvin’s actions, an independent autopsy ordered by his family has confirmed.
“Sustained pressure on the right side of Mr. Floyd’s carotid artery impeded blood flow to the brain, and weight on his back impeded his ability to breathe,” an attorney for Floyd’s family said in a statement on Monday, after the autopsy report was released.
“The independent examiners found that weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function,” he continued.
Mr. Floyd’s death was a homicide.
BREAKING: #GeorgeFloyd – Independent autopsy performed by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson concludes Floyd died of “Asphyxia due to compression of the neck” and no underlying medical conditions. pic.twitter.com/wuMex3AnPZ
The findings of the autopsy, carried out by medical examiners Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, differ from those of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, who examined Floyd’s body before Chauvin was charged with murder on Friday. The examiner’s report revealed “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” and suggested that Floyd’s “underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system” likely contributed to his death.
Floyd’s apparent murder shocked the nation, with a video showing the last agonizing eight minutes of his life triggering protests and riots across the US. Nearly a week later, the protests have escalated into full-blown anarchy, looting, and arson.
“For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse,” the attorney’s statement continued. “Beyond question, he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by fired officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body from two additional officers kneeling on him.”
In the aftermath of Floyd’s death, President Donald Trump has struggled to appease those calling for justice, and to quash the civil unrest sweeping the nation. He promised that the Justice Department would expedite Chauvin’s trial, while simultaneously decrying the riots as an offense to Floyd’s memory. On Monday night, as the autopsy report was released, Trump demanded that governors crack down on the riots, telling them to “dominate” the streets of their cities.
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