An independent autopsy of George Floyd found that his death was a homicide as a result of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”
According to the autopsy, compression to Floyd’s neck and back led to a lack of blood flow to his brain. Ben Crump, the attorney for the Floyd family, said Floyd was “dead on the scene.”
Multiple videos showed Floyd’s death as former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled with his knee on Floyd’s neck for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck for two minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Crump said he should be charged with first-degree murder.
“The ambulance was his hearse,” Crump told reporters Monday. “George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air.” “There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death,” said Dr. Michael Baden, one of the independent medical examiners. “Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That’s not true.”
The independent autopsy’s findings come after the Hennepin County Medical Examiner claimed they found “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”
Their preliminary autopsy results said that a combination of being restrained, any potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, probably contributed to his death.
The results of toxicology results can take weeks. 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.