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George Floyd: two autopsies rule death homicide, but differ on cause

An autopsy by Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office says George Floyd died of "cardiopulmonary arrest", while a private post mortem has ruled the cause of death as "asphyxia".

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 01: A memorial site where George Floyd died May 25 while in police custody, on June 1, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. George's brother Terrence Floyd visited the site today and called for justice and the prosecution of all fou
Stephen MaturenAFP

An official autopsy conducted on George Floyd has agreed with the conclusion of an independent postmortem that ruled he died by homicide, but has found a different cause of death.

Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office: Floyd died of heart attack

In a news release issued on Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Floyd suffered a cardiac arrest as police restrained the 46-year-old and suppressed his neck.

"Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)," said the statement, adding that the cause of death was "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

Private autopsy finds Floyd died of asphyxia

This differs from the results of a private autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family, which said he died of asphyxia.

"World renowned medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson found the manner of Mr. Floyd’s death was homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," said a statement released by the family’s legal team on Monday.

Initial post mortem found no sign of "asphyxia or strangulation"

Last week, a preliminary examination by Hennepin County had determined that there were "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation".

Floyd dies after officer kneels on neck for several minutes

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died during an arrest in Minneapolis after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, handcuffed him and knelt on his neck for several minutes, despite his pleas that he could not breathe. The incident was filmed by a bystander, who then shared the video on social media.

Chauvin sacked from police force, charged with murder

Chauvin was sacked on Tuesday - along with three others - and it was announced on Friday that he has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Floyd’s death has sparked days of violent protests that have spread from Minneapolis to cities across the United States. You can follow live coverage of the unfolding situation here.


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