George Floyd autopsy found 'no physical findings...of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation'

'Underlying health conditions,' intoxicants, police restraint 'likely contributed to his death'

Updated: May 31, 2020 - 8:51pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday that it found no evidence of strangulation in its autopsy of George Floyd, the Minneapolis resident who died after a police officer put his knee on a handcuffed Floyd's neck. 

Floyd's death on Monday has touched off a series of violent, destructive riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The four officers involved in pinning him down during the altercation have been fired; Derek Chauvin, the officer whose knee was on Floyd's neck during the arrest, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

In a criminal complaint filed against Chauvin, the state asserts that the officer "caused the death of George Floyd by his culpable negligence," though it stops short at claiming that it was Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck that directly caused the latter's death.

An autopsy by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner "revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation," the complaint states. 

"Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease," the report states. "The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death." 

"The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive," the report adds, noting that "police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous."

Rioters and looters have torn apart portions of the Twin Cities over the past few days, setting fire to a police precinct and raiding local stores for consumer goods. 

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