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Family’s independent autopsy finds George Floyd died of asphyxiation

George Floyd. (Star Tribune/TNS)
June 01, 2020

An independent autopsy of George Floyd’s death, conducted at the behest of his family, indicates Floyd died from asphyxiation caused by a Minneapolis police officer placing his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck.

Attorneys representing Floyd’s family announced the autopsy findings at a press conference Monday. The independent medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden summarized his findings during the press conference.

Baden said he counted about “three minutes and 50 seconds between the time [Floyd] is on the ground and the time he becomes motionless,” referring to video footage of the encounter.

Video of Floyd’s arrest shows Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin keeping his knee pinned to the back of Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

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Baden noted pleas from bystanders watching the arrest that Floyd was dying and that officers needed to let up. Baden also noted Chauvin continued to keep his knee on Floyd for more than four minutes until Emergency Medical Technicians arrived and “found he had no pulse, he had cardiac arrest.”

“In my opinion, he was dead after about four or five minutes; he was pronounced dead sometime later when he gets to the hospital,” Baden said. “A person is alive in this country until a proper physician pronounces them dead. He appears to be dead before the EMT people get there.”

The Floyd family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump also detailed efforts to resuscitate Floyd while he was in an ambulance that did not work.

The findings of the independent autopsy are at odds with an autopsy performed by the Hennepin County Medical Center, which assessed that Floyd died from a combination of underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, My State Line.com reported.

Following the results of the Hennepin County autopsy report, Crump announced Saturday that the family would seek an independent autopsy.

“AUTOPSY STATEMENT: The legal team representing the family of George Floyd has issued the following statement related to the preliminary autopsy findings by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner,” Crump tweeted with an attached statement.

“We are not surprised, yet we are tragically disappointed in the preliminary autopsy findings released today by the medical examiner. We hope that this does not reflect efforts to create a false narrative for the reason George Floyd died,” Crump said in the statement.

Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the country, with many demonstrating in opposition to police brutality.

“Let’s remember to take a breath America. Let’s take a breath for George,” Crump said at the close of the press conference. “Let’s take a breath for peace. Let’s take a breath for justice and let’s take a breath to heal our country.”