Medical Examiner Updates George Floyd Cause of Death: Homicide

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Demonstrators walk along Pennsylvania Avenue as they protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Monday afternoon the Hennepin County (MN) Medical Examiner released a report ruling George Floyd’s in-custody death as a homicide.

The report lists the cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

Reporter Tom Lyden of Fox’s Minneapolis affiliate tweeted:

ME report confirms the initial thought of experts in use of force that the hold was a recipe for compressional asphyxia induced heart attack.

An earlier report by Lyton featured multiple use of force experts who described the interaction between Minneapolis Police Department officers and George Floyd as “horrific,” “very egregious,” and as showing a “callous disregard for people in distress. One expert, Seth Stoughton, said there were numerous errors leading to Floyd’s death.

“It’s like a checklist of things done incorrectly,” said Stoughton.

Stoughton, who is a former police officer, said that is a technique you won’t find in any current training manual and it should only be used for a brief period until a suspect could be placed in handcuffs.

The knee should instead be placed on a suspect’s shoulder area, putting pressure on the upper back.

“He’s badly applying something he was taught, or doing something he was never taught,” said Stoughton.

Pressure on the neck can cause someone to suffocate, a condition known as ‘positional asphyxia’ or ‘compressional asphyxia.’


The report noted other significant conditions as being “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

Also on Monday, as covered by RedState’s Elizabeth Vaughn, results of an independent autopsy performed on behalf of Floyd’s family were released. That report determined that Floyd died from asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.”


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