An independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd’s family determined the cause of his death was “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” attorneys for the family announced Monday, findings that differ from the preliminary results of the Hennepin County medical examiner.
No underlying medical conditions caused or contributed to Floyd’s death, medical examiner Michael Baden said at a news conference. He said Floyd did not respond to CPR or cardiac shock in the ambulance that transported him to the hospital.
The manner of death was homicide, the independent autopsy concluded.
The findings differed from the results of the preliminary autopsy from the Hennepin County medical examiner, which found no evidence of traumatic asphyxia — deprivation of oxygen — or strangulation. The medical examiner concluded that Floyd’s death was caused by “the combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system.”
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyds, said at the news conference that Floyd died outside the corner store.
“The officers killed him based on a knee to his neck for almost nine minutes and two knees on his back, compressing his lungs,” Crump said. “The ambulance was his hearse.”
Co-counsel for the family Antonio Romanucci added that the weight of the other officers, Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng, prevented blood from flowing into his brain and air from entering his lungs.
Crump said Floyd’s family wants Chauvin’s murder charge to be upgraded to a first-degree offense and the other two officers to be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Essentially, George died because he needed a breath,” Crump said.
Pockets of the United States have descended into chaos in the week since Floyd died in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee into the 46-year-old black man’s neck.
On Monday, President Trump urged the nation’s governors to use force and take back the streets.