The Hennepin County medical examiner ruled that George Floyd’s death was a homicide, caused by cardiac and respiratory arrest that occurred as the man was pinned to the ground by arresting officers.
On Monday, the medical examiner in Minnesota released a report on Floyd’s death, which since last week has sparked protests across dozens of US cities, often spiraling into arson, looting and intense clashes with police. The report came out shortly after an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family concluded that his death under Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was a result of asphyxia due to compression of the neck and back.
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‘His death was a homicide’: George Floyd died of asphyxiation under police officer’s knee, independent autopsy confirms
The Hennepin County medical examiner sided with the authors of the independent autopsy, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, in ruling Floyd’s death a homicide. The examiner’s report defined the cause of death as a “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
Previously, in its preliminary findings, the examiner said that there was nothing in Floyd’s autopsy to support the diagnosis of “traumatic asphyxia and strangulation,” as suggested by Drs. Baden and Wilson. However, the examiner pointed out that the man had several underlying health issues that might have contributed to his death.
In the report, released on Monday evening, the examiner specified those preexisting conditions as “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease,” as well as “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent methamphetamine use.”
Floyd’s killing rattled the nation, with a viral video showing him pleading with the officers to let him stand up while saying “I can’t breathe” triggering mass protests in over 75 cities. US President Donald Trump, who is struggling to quell the violence, said that he will consider deploying the military to states where local authorities fail to shut down rioting, urging the governors to deploy the National Guard to “dominate” the streets.
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