The attorney representing George Floyd’s family criticized the official autopsy results in the 46-year-old’s death, saying that the results are an attempt to “assassinate his character.”
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner released a report of the autopsy results Monday, determining that Floyd had died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
The death has been ruled a homicide but officials also listed other “significant conditions” as Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; and recent methamphetamine use.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Floyd’s family alongside S. Lee Merritt, called the toxicology results in the report a “red herring” during a press conference Tuesday, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“That is an attempt to assassinate his character,” he said.
Crump also alleged that the medical examiner’s office had gone to “great length” to obscure Floyd’s cause of death and pointed instead to the preliminary results of an independent autopsy conducted on behalf of the family.
The results of that autopsy, which was conducted on May 31 by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, found that Floyd died of “asphyxia due to neck and back pressure,” according to a release from Crump’s office.
“Pressure on the neck and back interfered with his breathing and blood flow to the brain,” the release said.
The independent autopsy also found that the handcuffs and weight on Floyd’s back had been “contributing factors” in the death because they impaired his ability to breathe.
Floyd died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including keeping his knee there for two minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd became unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint obtained by CBS News.
Chauvin is now facing charges of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in Floyd’s death.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office has been tasked with leading the investigation into Floyd’s death. His office declined to comment on the autopsy reports on Tuesday, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
In an appearance on“TODAY” Tuesday, Crump said authorities have told him they also plan to file charges against the other three officers at the scene when Floyd died.
“We heard that they expect to charge those officers,” he said, according to NBC News. “And now with the autopsy, the independent autopsy from the family that pays particular attention to the two knees at the back compressing his lungs, which is equally important as the neck compression cutting off the flow of air…they will be charged, we understand. That is what the families are hearing from authorities.”
To date, Chauvin has been the only officer arrested in connection with Floyd’s death. All three of the other police officers have been fired from the Minneapolis Police department.
Crump asked the public to “take a breath” in honor of Floyd.
“What he needed was a breath,” he said, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. “The family’s asked everybody to take a breath—just take a breath for peace, take a breath for justice. If George was here, he would be asking people to peacefully protest.”
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