The Hennepin County medical examiner issued a report on Friday, May 29, saying a preliminary autopsy found no evidence that George Floyd died of strangulation and traumatic asphyxia.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested Monday after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at the Cup Foods convenience store. A bystander video recording showed Floyd was forced to the ground by an official who later identified as Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly said he could not breathe. Floyd then went silent, he was declared dead at a hospital a short time later.
The medical examiner said a combination of factors likely caused Floyd’s death, including being restrained by police officers, his underlying health conditions, which included coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants in his system, according to My Stateline.
“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” a statement from the medical examiner said.
Chauvin was arrested and taken into custody on Friday, following three days of protests across Minneapolis that led to looting, violence, and a police precinct being torched. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
“This is by far the fastest we have ever charged a police officer,” Freeman said. “Normally these cases take nine months to a year. We have to charge these cases very carefully because we have a difficult burden of proof.”
BREAKING UPDATE: Derek Chauvin has now been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.pic.twitter.com/NRO2gVIMCe
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) May 29, 2020
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office criminal complaint against Chauvin accused him of having his knee against Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, noting that such restraint is dangerous.
Chauvin was one of four officers fired after the video of Floyd’s arrest went viral. The other three officers are currently under investigation.
President Trump publicly condemned the incident, adding that he has ordered both the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate the death of Floyd.
Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday said that the video of the incident was “deeply disturbing” and asserted that an independent investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI is proceeding quickly, reported the Fox News.
“Both state and federal officers are working diligently and collaboratively to ensure that any available evidence relevant to these decisions is obtained as quickly as possible,” Barr said in a statement. “Under our system, charging decisions must be, and will be, based on the law and facts. This process is proceeding quickly.”
“I am confident justice will be served,” he added.