Independent autopsy finds George Floyd died of asphyxia

“For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse.”
A local resident stands in front of a makeshift memorial honoring George Floyd. Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., June 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

The findings of the new autopsy were unveiled Monday by Floyd family lawyer Benjamin Crump at a briefing along with the doctors who performed the examination. “Essentially, George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air,” Crump said.

What We Know:

  • The independent autopsy contrasts with an initial county autopsy last week that said there were no findings to support traumatic asphyxia or strangulation, according to The Associated Press.
  • Allecia Wilson, one of the doctors hired to conduct the autopsy, said the “evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as cause of death and homicide as the manner of death.”
  • Wilson conducted the autopsy with Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City who conducted independent autopsies of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
  • The doctors said it appeared George Floyd, an unarmed black man, had died in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes.
  • “For George Floyd, the ambulance was his hearse,” Crump said. “Beyond question, he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by fired officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body from the two additional officers kneeling him in his back.”
  • Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers were fired but not charged. Crump said Chauvin should be charged with first-degree murder. Video footage of the arrest shows Floyd saying he cannot breathe as he is being pinned down.
  • They have also stated, based on the independent autopsy, Floyd had no underlying medical conditions that contributed to his death.

According to prosecutors, preliminary findings from an official autopsy last week said combined effects of being restricted, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and underlying health issues likely contributed to his death, the AP reported.




Javier Garay is Media & News SVCS Intern at UnmutedCo. He is currently enrolled in the University of North Georgia seeking a bachelors degree in Film/Digital Media with a concentration in Media Studies. Javier writes for Black News Alerts (BNA) along with social media management for both BNA and BossFM, and is a part of the BNA Daily Podcast Team.