Family Medical Examiner Concludes George Floyd Died of Asphyxia, Rules Death a Homicide

A protester holds a sign in Portland, Ore., May 31, 2020. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

An independent autopsy commissioned by the family of George Floyd found that Floyd died from asphyxia caused by pressure to the neck and back, which stopped blood flow to his brain, attorneys for the family told reporters.

Floyd also had no underlying health condition that contributed to his death, according to Dr. Michael Baden, one of the pathologists who conducted the autopsy. The pathologists ruled Floyd’s death a homicide.

“George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air,” attorney Ben Crump said on Monday. Floyd was “dead on the scene,” and “the ambulance was his hearse.”

Floyd, an African American man, died during his arrest by white officers last week. Former officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck and back for several minutes, was charged on Friday with third-degree murder.

Massive demonstrations have spread across the country in the wake of Floyd’s death. The demonstrations have included peaceful protests as well as riots and looting.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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