An independent autopsy that George Floyd's family ordered has found he died by "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain." A separate autopsy was conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner last week, and it was stated there were "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."
As ABC News reported, early findings from the autopsy were published on Monday. During the investigation, examiners found that the weight placed on Floyd's back combined with handcuffs and the way he was positioned heavily impacted his diaphragm. The autopsy was carried out by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson of the University of Michigan Medical School, Floyd's family lawyer Ben Crump confirmed. Baden has previously performed independent autopsies on Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
Former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin was seen in a much-circulated video kneeling on Floyd's neck. During his arrest, Floyd pleaded with officers as he let them know he couldn't breathe. In the days since, Chauvin has been arrested on Murder in the 3rd degree, and manslaughter in the 2nd degree. The three other officers involved in Floyd's murder have yet to be arrested.
The first autopsy found that Floyd's "underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death," but the independent autopsy suggests a different story. As USA TODAY correspondent Nicquel Terry Ellis pointed out on Twitter, the new autopsy results indicate that Floyd was healthy.
Later on Monday, Hennepin County Medical Examiner's released a report citing "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression" as the cause for Floyd's death. Although the death was ruled a homicide, they said it "is not a legal determination of culpability or intent."