George Floyd's family is ready to release the results of his own autopsy on his death
AMY FORLITI Associated Press
June 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm
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The lawyer for George Floyd's family planned to announce the findings on Monday of an autopsy independent of his death after a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee in Floyd's neck for several minutes.
Floyd, a black man in handcuffs at the time, died after the white policeman ignored the viewers' screams to get rid of him and Floyd's screams that he couldn't breathe. His death, captured on citizen video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that spread across cities across America.
According to prosecutors, preliminary findings from an official autopsy last week said that the combined effects of being contained, potential intoxicants in Floyd's system and his underlying health problems, including heart disease, probably contributed to his death. There were no other details about intoxicants, and the results of toxicology could take weeks. In the 911 call that called the police, the caller described the man suspected of paying with fake money as "very drunk and he is not in control of himself".
The criminal complaint said the autopsy "did not reveal any physical findings that support the diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."
Ben Crump, the lawyer representing Floyd's family, said last week that he was commissioning the family's autopsy. Floyd's family, like the families of other black men killed by the police, wanted an independent appearance because they did not trust local authorities to produce an impartial autopsy.
The family's autopsy was conducted by Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson. Baden is the former New York City coroner, who was hired to perform an autopsy on Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after New York police put him in a choke and he claimed he could not breathe.
Baden also conducted an independent autopsy of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri. He said Brown's autopsy, requested by the teenager's family, showed no signs of a struggle, casting doubt on the police's claim that a fight between Brown and the policeman led to the shooting.
The police officer who held the knee to Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and wrongful death and is in custody in a state prison. The other three policemen on the scene, like Chauvin, were fired the day after the incident, but were not charged.
The head of the Minneapolis police union said in a letter to members that police officers were fired without due process and labor lawyers are fighting for their jobs. Lieutenant Bob Kroll, president of the union, also criticized the city's leadership, saying that the lack of support is responsible for the days of sometimes violent protests.
When asked to respond, Mayor Jacob Frey said, "For a man who complains so often about the community's lack of trust and support for the police department, Bob Kroll remains shockingly indifferent to his role in undermining that trust and support." opposition to reform and a lack of empathy for the community undermined confidence in the police.
Governor Tim Walz announced on Sunday that Attorney General Keith Ellison will take the lead in any lawsuit in Floyd's death. Local civil rights activists said Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman is not trusted by the black community. They protested outside his home and pressured him to accuse the other three officers.
Freeman remains on the case.