"George died because he needed a breath, a breath of air," family attorney Ben Crump said Monday in announcing the results of an autopsy conducted at the request of his family. It's one that the Star Tribune reports "directly challenge[s]" the initial findings from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, which attributed George Floyd's death to factors including being restrained, underlying health issues, and possible intoxication. The family's autopsy said he was asphyxiated due to neck and back compression; the official autopsy was explicit in saying it found no evidence "to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."
Crump said the evidence thus far indicates Floyd died at the scene rather than at the hospital: The EMT report states no pulse checks returned a pulse, and when they arrived at the hospital, "that last report was the patient was still pulseless." The AP—which notes the autopsy was performed by the former chief medical examiner of New York City, who conducted autopsies on Eric Garner and Michael Brown—reports that Crump said it determined the compression choked off blood flow to Floyd's brain, and the weight applied to his back impeded his ability to breathe. Crump said the third-degree murder charge against now-fired Officer Derek Chauvin should be be upgraded to first-degree murder, and that the three officers who were with him should be charged. (Read more George Floyd stories.)