An independent autopsy has found "asphyxiation from sustained pressure" as the cause of death of 46-year-old George Floyd. Dismissing the official autopsy report, which blamed combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in the victim's system coupled with underlying health issues, including heart disease, as the probable cause of his death, Floyd's family had demanded an independent autopsy.
The findings come a week after Floyd was arrested by four police officers for alleged $20 forgery at a deli in Minneapolis. To restrain a handcuffed and unarmed Floyd, sacked police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him down by placing his knee on the back of Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes. Even as Floyd kept shouting that he was unable to breathe, Chauvin did not budge.
Floyd Died on the Spot, Claims Autopsy Report
Dr Michael Baden and Dr Allecia Wilson conducted the independent autopsy of Floyd. USA Today reported about Benjamin Crump, Floyd's family attorney, saying that the independent autopsy "determined that asphyxiation from sustained pressure" was the cause of Floyd's death.
In their report, Dr Baden and Dr Wilson said there was neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain. The weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability of Floyd's diaphragm to function.
Stating that Floyd died on the spot, Dr Baden said: "What we found is consistent with what people saw. There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death. Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true."
Stating that Floyd's death was a homicide, Crump said: "For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse. 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 him. Mr. Floyd's death was a homicide by officers who taunted him while holding him down for more than eight minutes. And the officer who stood by doing nothing was a physical blue shield – a living symbol of the code of silence."
Floyd's Death Spot Becomes a Memorial
The incident, which have sparked widespread protests, took place on the street outside Cup Foods. The spot has now been converted into a memorial for Floyd with banners, flowers and remembrance notes placed by mourners.
Police arrested Floyd after an employee of Cup Foods called 911 as per the store's policy to report about a counterfeit $20 allegedly bill given by Floyd at the store.
Speaking to Sahan Journal, store spokesman Jamar B Nelson said: "There have been countless death threats. They threatened to do harm to the store, and they threatened to do bodily harm to individuals in the store."
Condemning the incident, the Arab-American owner of the store, Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, also known as Mike, told the outlet: "We stand for Black Lives Matter. We are against abuse of power and racial injustice. We have a system that is broken, and it must be fixed."