The family lawyers of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in US police custody, have requested his body for an independent autopsy after the county coroner raised doubts about suffocation as the cause of death.
The 46-year-old died on Monday after Derek Chauvin, a white officer in Minneapolis, pinned his neck down to the ground with his knee for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked protests demanding justice across the United States.
The Hennepin County medical examiner said the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in the 46-year-old’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death. It revealed nothing to support strangulation as the cause of death.
There were no other details about intoxicants, and toxicology results can take weeks.
In response to the preliminary autopsy findings, Benjamin Crump, one of the lawyers representing Floyd’s family, said the legal team would hire Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City, to do the independent autopsy.
Baden had also been retained to do an autopsy for Eric Garner, a Black man who died in 2014 after New York police placed him in a chokehold and he pleaded that he could not breathe.