George Floyd’s Death Ruled A Homicide By Medical Examiner

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Nicholas Reimann   Forbes U.S. Staff

George Floyd’s Death Ruled A Homicide By Medical Examiner

Photo: Logan Weaver on Unsplash

George Floyd’s death was a homicide, the county medical examiner has ruled, saying in a report released Monday that the 46-year-old died as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest caused by “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

KEY FACTS

- The finding from the medical examiner in Hennepin County, Minnesota, comes after Floyd’s family released results earlier Monday from a private autopsy they commissioned that concluded he had died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.” 

- A preliminary report from the medical examiner last week said there were “no physical findings” to reach that conclusion.

- Floyd, who is black, died in police custody on May 25, with a video showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the black man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds as Floyd pleaded with police, saying “I can’t breathe.”

- The official cause of death, according to the medical examiner, was cardiopulmonary arrest, not asphyxiation, and the report points to contributing factors that were not mentioned by the family autopsy, stating that Floyd had heart disease, was high on fentanyl, a powerful opioid, and had recently taken methamphetamine.

- Floyd’s death has sparked national outrage over police treatment of black Americans, with protests in cities across the country in the week since his death that have turned violent.

CRITICAL QUOTE

“Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the medical examiner said in a report.

KEY BACKGROUND

Protests continued across the U.S. Monday for an eighth consecutive day after Floyd’s death, with the intensity of those protests increasing over the weekend as many morphed into riots involving looting and clashes with police forces.

Officer Derek Chauvin, who held his knee against Floyd, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers who helped Chauvin restrain Floyd have been fired, but not charged. Demonstrators have vowed to keep taking to the streets at least until those other three officers are charged and arrested, and organizers have decried how protests have turned riotous, saying that looters and vandals among their ranks were being “opportunists.”

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Nicholas Reimann   Forbes U.S. Staff

I'm a New Orleans-based news reporter for Forbes covering the U.S. South and breaking news. Previously, I wrote for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate covering local government.