Attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the family of George Floyd, announced the findings of the independent autopsy Monday afternoon.
Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson were hired by the Floyd family’s legal team to conduct the independent autopsy after rejecting the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s official ruling that he hadn’t died from strangulation.
The pathologists say the sustained pressure applied by Officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd’s neck impeded blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by another officer, who had placed both of his knees into his back, also impeded his ability to breath.
Their independent evaluation also found that Floyd had ‘no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death.’
‘The compressive pressure on the neck are not seen at autopsy because the pressure is released by the time the body has come to the medical office. It can only be seen when the pressure is being applied – or in this instance in the video.
‘This is confirmed by information from myself, from Dr. Wilson, and from the family,’ Baden said. ‘[Mr. Floyd] was in good health.’
Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white cop who has since been arrested, was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe (incident pictured)
The cause of death was ruled mechanical asphyxia, with the manner of death ruled a homicide.
The findings of Baden and Wilson greatly differ from the ruling of an autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office on Floyd last week.
The county’s autopsy found ‘no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,’ the report also said Floyd had underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease
In conclusion, the examiner suggested Floyd likely died from a combination of his underlying health conditions and potential intoxicants in his system that were exacerbated by the restraint placed on him by police officers.
Baden criticized those findings Monday, pointing out that the emphasis the pressure on his neck may have had on his death wouldn’t show up in an autopsy because the pressure is released by the time body arrived at the examiner’s office.
‘It can only be seen when the pressure is being applied – or in this instance in the video,’ Baden said. ‘Pressure on the neck can interfere with blood flow and oxygen going to the brain, and pressure to the back interferes with breathing.
Baden also refuted the idea that Floyd had coronary artery disease. In a comment in reference to his age group’s suceptibilty to coronavirus, the 85-year-old said, ‘I wish I had the same coronary arteries that Mr. Floyd had.Cop presses knee on George Floyd’s neck until he’s motionless.
Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day after being restrained by officer Derek Chauvin, who had pinned him to the ground and kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his repeated cries of ‘I can’t breathe.’
‘George died because he needed a breath,’ Crump said during the Monday afternoon news conference. ‘I implore all of us to take a breath for justice, to take a breath for peace, to take a breath for our country and to take a breath for George.’
Floyd’s family had dispute the county medical examiner’s findings last week, calling notions he had any underlying health conditions ‘an illusion’.
‘The family and I reject this notion from the Minneapolis Medical Examiner that the knee from the police officer on George’s neck for almost nine minutes was not the proximate cause of his death,’ the Floyd family’s lawyer, Ben Crump said in a statement over the weekend.
‘The family does not trust anything coming from the Minneapolis Police Department. How can they?’ attorney Ben Crump said. ‘We already saw the truth.’