Family-ordered autopsy: George Floyd died of asphyxia

George Floyd

A chain portrait of George Floyd is part of the memorial for him, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, near the site of the arrest of Floyd who died in police custody Monday night in Minneapolis after video shared online by a bystander showed a white officer kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS — An autopsy commissioned for George Floyd’s family found that Floyd died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the Floyd family’s attorneys said Monday.

The autopsy by a doctor who also examined Eric Garner’s body found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and weight on his back made it hard to breathe.

The family’s autopsy differs from the official autopsy as described in a criminal complaint against the officer.

That autopsy included the effects of being restrained, along with underlying health issues and potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system, but also said it found nothing “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the white officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe.

His death, captured on citizen video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that have spread to cities around America.

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