Autopsy Says George Floyd Tested Positive for Coronavirus, But Death Was Homicide
The coronavirus was unrelated to George Floyd's homicide, according to the autopsy report
George Floyd's autopsy revealed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, but his death in police custody was ruled a homicide.
According to the full autopsy report, obtained by PEOPLE, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office determined Floyd died of "cardiopulmonary arrest" — or heart failure — "complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."
The autopsy does not mention asphyxiation, which was listed as the cause of death in the independent autopsy the family commissioned that was performed by Dr. Michael Baden. Baden ruled Floyd died due to "asphyxiation from sustained pressure."
The autopsy report states Floyd had fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cannabinoids in his system at the time of his death. None of those substances factored into his death.
The medical examiner's report further details blunt-force injuries Floyd had sustained to the skin of his head as well as his face and upper lip. His hands, shoulders, and elbows also shows signs of bruising, as did his wrists, from the compression caused by the handcuffs.
According to the autopsy report, Floyd first tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3 — a diagnosis confirmed by testing on his body.
"The result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent ... positivity from previous infection," reads the report.
Floyd was killed on May 25 while in custody for allegedly using a counterfeit bill to make a purchase at a store. Video of Floyd's killing went viral, triggering nationwide protests demanding racial equality and calling for an end to police brutality.
Protests have since sprung up all around the globe.
In the footage, Floyd can be seen gasping for air for several minutes, beneath the weight of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was pressing his knee into George's neck.
Despite being handcuffed and facedown on his stomach, Floyd, who was unarmed, was pinned to the pavement for nearly 9 minutes. For several minutes, Floyd can be heard on video groaning in pain. He repeatedly tells the officers he can't breathe, and at one point, he calls out to his mother for help.
Witnesses begged the police to let up on Floyd. Instead, Chauvin adjusted his position as Floyd struggled to turn his head.
On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison amended the initial third-degree murder charge against Chauvin to include second-degree unintentional murder. Chauvin is also charged with manslaughter.
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Three other officers at the scene — Thomas Lane, 37; Tou Thao, 34; and J. Alexander Kueng, 26 — were were also charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
After Chauvin was arrested, his estranged wife filed for divorce.
It was unclear Thursday if any of the four officers had appeared in court to enter pleas to the charges, or had retained legal counsel who could comment on their behalf.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.