George Floyd, the African American man whose gruesome killing by four white Minneapolis police officers sparked nationwide protests, had tested positive for coronavirus, according to his full autopsy report released on Wednesday. According to the 20-page report, Floyd, 46, tested positive for Covid-19 on April 3.
On Monday, a summary finding of his report was released by the coroner's office, according to which he had a heart attack while being assaulted by the police officers. On May 25, four Minneapolis police officers went after Floyd after receiving a complaint that he paid a counterfeit $20 bill. In the video captured by the bystanders, officer Derek Chauvin is seen kneeling on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes, ignoring his cries of "I can't breathe!". He passed out and later died, sparking widespread protests over racism and police brutality in the U.S.
According to his full autopsy report, released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office with his family's permission, he had tested positive for Covid-19 on April 3. He tested positive for the virus' genetic code, or RNA, which can remain in a patient's body for weeks after recovery. Given the fact that he tested positive after his death meant that he was an asymptomatic carrier. It isn't clear if he displayed symptoms when he tested positive in April.
The report further noted that his lungs were healthy but had some narrowing of arteries in the heart. Under its 'other significant conditions' section, the report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use, but didn't include them under 'cause of death'. In its footnotes, the report stated that the signs of fentanyl toxicity can include "severe respiratory depression" and seizures, Associated Press reported.
Earlier this week, the medical examiner's office said that Floyd's death was a homicide. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded charges on Derek Chauvin, the officer primarily responsible for his killing, to second-degree murder. He was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter last Friday. Charges of aiding and abetting were leveled against Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, the other three officers who were caught on camera assaulting Floyd.