Asphyxiation is the extreme state of being deprived of oxygen, which can result in unconsciousness or death due to suffocation, choking or being smothered.
Attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the family of George Floyd announced the findings of the independent autopsy on Monday afternoon, June 1st.
Two doctors were hired by the Floyd family’s legal team to conduct the independent autopsy after rejecting the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s official ruling last week which claims that Floyd did not die from ‘strangulation or asphyxia.’
The new autopsy shows that pressure applied by Officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd‘s neck obstructed blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by another officer, who had placed both of his knees into his back, also impeded his ability to breathe.
The autopsy ruled cause of death as mechanical asphyxia, with the manner of death ruled as homicide.
Family attorney, Ben Crump, during a news conference on Monday said;
George died because he needed a breath, a breath of air, for George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse. Floyd was living, breathing, talking until we see those officers restrain him while he was face down in handcuffs, with Officer Chauvin having his knee lodged into his neck for over eight minutes, almost nine minutes.
And the other officers had both his knees lodged into his back. The doctors will explain the significance of that, as to the cause and manner of death.
The attorney noted that all the evidence to date points that Floyd died at the scene and not when he was admitted at the hospital.
Floyd’s family attorney added that;
The medics, based on the Emergency Medical Technician’s report that we have in our possession, performed pulse checks several times finding none and delivered one shock by their monitor, but Mr. Floyd’s condition did not change. They rushed him to the hospital, continued ventilation, but that last report was the patient was still pulseless.
Last week, Crump had said that relatives sought their own autopsy because;
The first examination’s findings do not address in detail the effect of the purposeful use of force on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the extent of Mr. Floyd’s suffering at the hands of the police.
Further commenting on the new autopsy, Crumb noted that;
The family and its attorneys are not surprised, yet we are tragically disappointed in the preliminary autopsy findings. We hope that this does not create a false narrative for the reason George Floyd died. Attempts to avoid the hard truth will not stand.
Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy had stated that;
The examination revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation in connection with Chauvin’s knee pressed against Floyd’s neck.
It however expressed that Floyd died from a combination of being restrained, potential intoxicants in his system along with various underlying medical conditions including heart disease and hypertension.
According to Crump, Officer Chauvin based on the new autopsy should be charged with first-degree murder and not third-degree murder.
He also called for the arrests of the other three officers who are involved in Floyd‘s death – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.