Skip to Content

Independent autopsy challenges findings by Hennepin County Medical Examiner in Floyd death

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

UPDATE: George Floyd's family's attorney released a bullet point list of the preliminary findings.

It reads:

"Condition of the body included: 

  • Hemorrhage over the vertebral bodies and in the cervical region was found
  • Hemorrhage on the outside of the carotid artery at the level of the C3, C4, C5 was found
  • Hemorrhage in wrists and forearms was found
  • Lungs not congested or infected
  • No issues with the liver, spleen, intestines, kidneys

 Findings Related to Cause of Death:

  • He died of asphyxia due to neck and back pressure
  • Pressure on the neck and back interfered with his breathing and blood flow to the brain
  • Weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability to breathe
  • George Floyd died at the scene
  • No other obvious cause of death
  • The cause of death is consistent with what we see on the video. No other cause of death is present in the autopsy
  • Later information will not change cause of death, but will be informative
  • The toxicology findings are helpful in understanding the circumstances of death but are not a cause or contributing cause of death."

The autopsy was conducted Sunday, May 31.

UPDATE: Late Monday afternoon the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office issued a news release, now stating homicide as the manner of death in the George Floyd case.

The report says the cause of death is Cardiopulmonary arrest, the result of the police restraint and neck compressions. This latest finding comes closer to matching the independent autopsy the family ordered.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Attorneys representing the family of George Floyd have released the findings of an independent autopsy. Using their own pathologists, the results challenge the autopsy findings by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

The independent autopsy finds that Floyd died of asphyxiation, as a direct result of the police officer's knee to his neck and the pressure placed on Floyd's back by two additional officers as he lay handcuffed on the ground.

Attorneys say the evidence all appears to indicate Floyd was already dead as he was put into the ambulance and taken to the hospital, saying the "ambulance was his hearse."

Attorney Ben Crump said Floyd's family sought their own autopsy because they did not believe the County Medical Examiner's report addressed in detail what effect the use of force had on his neck. In the criminal complaint, which officially charges former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with third degree murder and manslaughter, it states the original autopsy revealed no physical findings that support asphyxia or strangulation.

The independent autopsy calls Floyd's death a homicide. The very definition of which is death by the hands of another.

The family would like Chauvin charged with 1st degree murder. When asked what charges they feel would be appropriate for the other officers at the scene, the attorneys said they would like them punished to the full extent of the law, but stopped short of suggesting the appropriate charges. They said they would defer to the judgement of Minnesota's Attorney General, Keith Ellison who has now been handed the task of prosecuting this case.

Author Profile Photo

Michele Gors

Skip to content