George Floyd died of asphyxia, finds autopsy commissioned by his family

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An autopsy commissioned for George Floyd’s family found that Floyd died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the Floyd family’s attorneys said on Monday.

The autopsy by a doctor who also examined Eric Garner’s body, who was killed in police custody six years ago, found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and weight on his back made it hard to breathe.

The family’s autopsy differs from the official autopsy as described in a criminal complaint against the officer.

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The policeman who held his knee to Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third degree, or unintentional murder, based on an initial official autopsy that said Floyd died not of asphyxia but of “underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.”

That autopsy also said it found nothing “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

Floyd’s family took issue with that conclusion and have demanded Chauvin be charged with first degree murder, and that three other officers at the scene be arrested and charged as complicit with murder.

Read more: New York City imposes 11 p.m. curfew after days of protests over Floyd’s death

Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the white officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe.

His death, captured on citizen video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that have spread to cities around America.

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