George Floyd’s surviving family members did not believe the official autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnesota that absolved the police department of culpability in his death.
The family commissioned an independent autopsy that reveals Floyd died from homicide caused by asphyxiation due to neck and back compression. It happened as Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck, cutting off blood to his brain, and other officers had their knees on his back, making it impossible for him to breathe, according to the Minneapolis-based Star-Tribune, The Associated Press and other news outlets.
This independent autopsy directly contradicts the official Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s report that said pre-existing conditions, combined with intoxication, resulted in Floyd’s death, adding that it could find “no physical findings to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”
The family attorney says the independent report confirms what Floyd’s family believed from the beginning.
“George died because he needed a breath, a breath of air,” attorney Ben Crump said during a Monday afternoon news conference, according to the Star-Tribune. “For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse.”
Crump added that Floyd “was living, breathing, talking until we see those officers restrain him while he’s face down in handcuffs with Officer Chauvin having his knee lodged into his neck for over eight minutes, almost nine minutes, and the other officer having both his knees lodged into his back. And the doctors will explain the significance of that, as to the cause and manner of death.”
Another point of contention is the official police report stating that Floyd died at the local hospital, which Crump also vehemently refutes. During Monday’s news conference, Crump said that Floyd had died while he was still on the ground before the ambulance arrived.
“The medics, based on the EMT report that we have in our possession, performed pulse checks several times finding none and delivered one shock by their monitor, but George’s condition did not change,” Crump said. “They delivered him to the hospital, continued ventilation, but that last report was the patient was still pulseless.”
These details will eventually play prominently, Crump explained, as the state prepares to prosecute Clauvin, who has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He is being held on $500,000 bond at a maximum-security prison in metro Minneapolis.