George Floyd—the man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis sparked international protests against racial injustice and police brutality—previously tested positive for COVID-19 but was likely “asymptomatic” when he died, according to results of his full autopsy.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office released the full autopsy report with permission from Floyd’s family, which showed the 46-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3.
“Since PCR positivity for 2019-nCoV RNA can persist for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease, the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection,” the report states.
A summary of the autopsy findings released earlier this week concluded Floyd had died of a heart attack on May 25 while being restrained by police.
The 46-year-old’s death has been classified a homicide.
The report also listed other “significant conditions” as Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; and recent methamphetamine use.
Floyd died after video showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin—who is now facing upgraded charges of second-degree murder in the case—pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and pinned to the ground. Floyd repeatedly pleaded for his life, telling the officers that he couldn’t breathe, before he became unresponsive.
The official autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office differs from the conclusions of an independent autopsy conducted on behalf of the family by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson. That autopsy determined that Floyd had died of “asphyxia due to neck and back pressure,” according to a post on social media from family attorney Ben Crump.
“Pressure on the neck and back interfered with his breathing and blood flow to the brain,” the report found.
However, the medical examiner’s office noted in its report that petechiae, a symptom commonly associated with asphyxia, had been absent in Floyd’s body.
The full autopsy report from the medical examiner also revealed that Floyd had suffered blunt-force injuries to his face, shoulders, hands, arms and legs.
Floyd also suffered a broken rib, which is believed to have been caused during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Before the full autopsy’s findings were released, Crump had publicly criticized the toxicology findings suggested drug use that were announced in the initial summary, calling them a “red herring.”
“That is an attempt to assassinate his character,” he said during a Tuesday press conference according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune
On Wednesday, Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Chauvin was facing upgraded charges of second-degree murder.
He had initially been charged with third-degree murder.
Prosecutors also charged the three other officers at the scene – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng – with aiding and abetting, according to the Associated Press.
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