Medical examiner: No evidence George Floyd died of strangulation

National

MINNESOTA, Minn. (WTVO) — The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says a preliminary autopsy found no evidence that George Floyd died of strangulation and traumatic asphyxia after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes.

The medical examiner said Floyd had underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.

“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” the medical examiner reported.

According to criminal complaint against Chauvin, who was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, police were called to a grocery store after Floyd allegedly gave them a counterfeit $20 bill.

Officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng arrived first and found three people in a car, including Floyd and other woman, both of whom were known to police, according to the complaint.

Floyd was ordered out of the car and was handcuffed, and “actively resisted being handcuffed,” according to body cam footage obtained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

As officers were taking Floyd to their squad car, he stiffened up and fell to the ground, complaining that he was claustrophobic.

Officers Chauvin and Tou Thoa arrived in a separate squad car and attempted to get Floyd into the car, according to the complaint. While standing outside the car, Floyd began saying that he could not breathe.

Chauvin forced Floyd to the ground and placed his knee on his head, the complaint continues. The other officers stayed in their positions as Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe,” and “Mama,” and “Please.”

According to the complaint, Lane asked “should we roll him on his side?” and Chauvin answered, “No, staying put where we got him.” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever,” to which Chauvin responded, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.”

When Floyd stopped moving and became unresponsive, Kueng checked for a pulse and said he couldn’t find one.

Two minutes later, Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck and the ambulance arrived.

Floyd was pronounced dead later at Hennepin County Medical Center.

All four officer were fired the next day, after video of the incident taken by a bystander, came to light.

Chauvin was arrested on Friday. The other three officers are currently under investigation.

Minneapolis County District Attorney Mike Freeman said the investigation is ongoing involving the other three officers, saying, “We felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator.”

The arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct that had been abandoned by officers.

This story was updated. An earlier version suggested that the medical examiner said strangulation was the cause of George Floyd’s death.

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