Independent autopsy and Minnesota officials say George Floyd's death was homicide

Experts hired by George Floyd's family and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner have concluded his death was a homicide, but they differ on what caused it....

Posted: Jun 1, 2020 1:07 PM
Updated: Jun 2, 2020 2:45 AM

Experts hired by George Floyd's family and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner have concluded his death was a homicide, but they differ on what caused it.

The independent autopsy says Floyd died of 'asphyxiation from sustained pressure' when his neck and back were compressed by Minneapolis police officers during his arrest last week. The pressure cut off blood flow to his brain, that autopsy determined.

But the medical examiner's office, in its report also released Monday, said that the cause of death is 'cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.' Cardiopulmonary arrest means Floyd's heart failed.

The medical examiner made no mention of asphyxiation.

The Hennepin County release says heart disease was an issue; the independent examiner didn't find that.

The county said that fentanyl and methamphetamine use were among 'significant conditions,' but its report didn't say how much of either drug was in Floyd's system or how that may have contributed.

'Whether or not he was intoxicated or had medications in his system is irrelevant to the cause of death, which is homicide, which is death by the hand of another,' Floyd family attorney Antonio Romanucci told CNN. 'The end result, which is George Floyd's death, would not be any different.'

Floyd, 46, was essentially 'dead on the scene' on May 25, said Ben Crump, an attorney for the family.

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.

The officer 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, who faces charges in the death.

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.

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.

'George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air,' Crump told reporters.

Attorney calling for charges against all officers

Floyd was dead within four minutes after he was held to the ground, the independent examiners said.

Chauvin 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 also have been fired, but they have not been charged.

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, Romanucci said.

'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 protests.

'We understand the righteous anger,' Crump said. 'But the violence is absolutely unacceptable. Unacceptable to George and unacceptable to us.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 175121

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34937568
Washington23491229
Marion20195299
Clackamas15386204
Lane11591144
Jackson9923127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes712972
Linn416063
Yamhill410175
Klamath349059
Polk344252
Malheur342858
Josephine306362
Douglas304765
Benton273218
Jefferson207032
Coos197531
Columbia154526
Union141624
Lincoln130220
Wasco129128
Hood River112529
Morrow107915
Clatsop8958
Crook88019
Baker85814
Curry5959
Tillamook5813
Lake4137
Grant4124
Harney3066
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3718210

Reported Deaths: 61038
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122899723653
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2947794555
San Diego2749603674
Orange2689624896
Santa Clara1170812013
Kern1078591322
Sacramento1011721646
Fresno1005621646
Alameda853671477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa67019782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41157560
San Francisco36032523
Santa Barbara33896446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29696311
Imperial27987719
Kings22774245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16260239
Santa Cruz15571204
Marin13861226
Yolo13580200
Shasta11677217
Butte11573196
El Dorado9719109
Napa966679
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598663
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada445775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362551
Humboldt358737
Lake340943
Glenn235725
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
Medford
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 74°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 74°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 68°
Staying warm this afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events