The team of experts hired by the deceased’s family as well as the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Chauvin’s knee pressed into the back of Floyd’s neck thereby cutting blood flow to the brain.
This new report contradicts what the county’s examiner had earlier announced as the cause of death. On Monday, the office of medical examiner said Floyd had died from “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
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Effectively, his death had been ruled as stemming from heart failure. But the independent autopsy did not find a reason to agree with the medical examiner.
The medical examiner had also concluded that Floyd’s system showed the presence of the drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine. However, it did not say how much of the drugs there was.
When the county’s report was released, it was largely greeted with contempt and mistrust with many alleging that the report sought to absolve Chauvin of any wrongdoing. This was especially because contrary to many opinions, the report indicated there was “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation”.
But an attorney for the family, Antonio Romanucci, told CNN, “Whether or not he [Floyd] 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. The end result, which is George Floyd’s death, would not be any different.”
Chauvin has now been charged in Floyd’s death. Videos from last week showed him with his right knee firmly lodged in the back of Floyd’s neck even as the 46-year-old was handcuffed and put belly flat on the ground.
Chauvin’s knee was for eight minutes and forty-six seconds on Floyd until he became unresponsive.