On One Point, the Competing George Floyd Autopsies Agree

His death was a homicide, they both conclude
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2020 12:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – George Floyd's family disagrees with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office on Floyd's cause of death—but the medical examiner did classify his death as a homicide. On that point the two autopsies (one performed by the ME's office and one ordered by Floyd's family and performed by two doctors—a former New York City medical examiner and the University of Michigan Medical School's director of autopsy and forensic services, per ABC News) agreed, but on many other points they differed. The ME's autopsy conceded that the restraint Floyd suffered at the hands of a police officer was a factor in his death, but also listed a number of other contributing factors. The independent autopsy concludes he simply died of asphyxia, as a result of the officer kneeling on his neck and cutting off his flow of oxygen, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

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The ME's report states the autopsy uncovered "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation," per USA Today, and suggests preexisting health conditions and possible intoxication contributed to Floyd's death. But at a press conference, one doctor hired by Floyd's family said, "The compressive pressure of the neck and back are not seen at autopsy because the pressure has been released by the time the body comes to the medical examiner’s office. ... Serious compressive pressure on the neck and back can only be seen while the pressure is being applied or when, as in this instance, it is captured on video." He also disputed the ME's finding of heart disease, saying, "I wish I had the same coronary arteries that Mr. Floyd had that we saw at the autopsy." The independent doctors conclude Floyd likely died after just 4 or 5 minutes. (Read more George Floyd stories.)

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