A private autopsy report commissioned by George Floyd’s family found that Floyd died due to compression on his neck and back after former police officer Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee down on Floyd’s neck while two other officers pinned down his back.
At a news conference on Monday, Dr. Michael Baden, one of the doctors hired by Floyd’s family said, “The cause of death in my opinion is asphyxia – due to compression on the neck which can interfere with oxygen going to the brain – and compression to the back, which interferes with breathing.”
The findings of the private autopsy report contradict the official preliminary autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County medical examiner which stated “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.” The report also continued to say that Floyd had underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease which contributed to his death.
However, in a legal statement released by Floyd’s family on Monday, Baden stated that no existing health conditions had contributed to Floyd’s death. “What we found was consistent with what we saw. There was no other health issue that could cause or contribute to his death.
“Beyond question he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by fired officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body from two additional officers kneeling on his back.”
Since then, the Hennepin County medical examiner has released a full autopsy report corroborating Baden’s account which concluded that the death was indeed a homicide. The Monday report however, also stated that Floyd was intoxicated with fentanyl and had recently used methamphetamines.
It also specified that Floyd did in fact suffer from heart disease.
In a statement released on Twitter by the legal team of Floyd’s family, Lead Attorney Ben Crump called for first-degree murder charges against Chauvin and the other officers.
A first-degree murder charge points to a premeditated and intentional murder, motivated by malice. However, Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder, which does not require the prosecutor to prove either intent or malice.
Co-Counsel Antonio Romanucci and Blandin LLC of Floyd’s legal team also said in the legal statement that the Minnesota police department is legally responsible for Floyd’s death.
“The city of Minneapolis clearly had a pattern, custom and practice of failing to train and discipline its police officers, creating a culture of impunity allowing them to treat people of color as lesser human beings unworthy of basic respect,” stated the legal team.
Since Floyd’s death last week, protests have broken out in 120 cities in the United States with National Guard troops being deployed in 21 states to contain them.
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