George Floyd's family attorney says that Floyd was "dead on the scene," following his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Benjamin Crump, the lawyer that Floyd's family hired to handle the case, spoke during a press conference and made the claim, which was supported by the results of a private autopsy. "Based on all apparent evidence, George was dead on that scene [on the ambulance]," Crump said.
During the press conference, Crump introduced Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, pathologists who completed a private autopsy on Floyd, at the request of his family. The pair determined that, based on their findings, Floyd's death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia." Based on their finding, the pair believe that former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, as well as two others kneeling on his body, caused a lack of blood flow to the brain. In their findings, they stated that they do not believe that any "other health issue...could contribute to the death." Dr. Baden went on to say that "police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true."
#GeorgeFloyd died of asphyxiation after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck and two others held their weight against his back, according to an independent autopsy report.
"For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse," a family attorney says. pic.twitter.com/Pfavkp8yym— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 1, 2020
The findings by Dr. Baden and Dr. Wilson challenge a preliminary report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, who stated that they discovered"no physical findings" to support "a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation" as Floyd's cause of death. However, the statement then went on to say that the police officer's use of restraint "likely contributed" to Floyd's death. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner also cited personal health issues such as hypertensive heart disease and coronary artery disease as factors that could have possibly contributed to his death. They also referred to "potential intoxicants," but did not stated if drugs or alcohol were found in Floyd's system when he died.
Following Floyd's death, Chauvin and the other three officers involved in his arrest were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. Chauvin was later arrested and charged with murder in the third degree, as well as manslaughter. The other three officers have not been charged in Floyd's death. It is still possible that they could be, however.