Experts hired by George Floyd’s family have concluded his death was a homicide, but they differ on what caused it.
The independent autopsy says Floyd died of “asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.” after Minneapolis police officers knelt on him during his arrest last week.
But earlier autopsy by the medical examiner’s office, in its report also released Monday, said that the cause of death is “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” Cardiopulmonary arrest means Floyd’s heart failed.
The medical examiner made no mention of asphyxiation.
The Hennepin County release says heart disease was an issue; the independent examiner didn’t find that. The county said that fentanyl and methamphetamine use were among “significant conditions,” but its report didn’t say how much of either drug was in Floyd’s system or how that may have contributed.
“Whether or not he was intoxicated or had medications in his system is irrelevant to the cause of death, which is homicide, which is death by the hand of another,” Floyd family attorney Antonio Romanucci told CNN. “The end result, which is George Floyd’s death, would not be any different.”
Floyd, 46, was essentially “dead on the scene” on May 25, said Ben Crump, an attorney for the family.
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