Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family of George Floyd, shared new updates on Saturday morning after a preliminary autopsy report was released on Friday in Minnesota. The initial report from the Hennepin County medical examiner suggested that underlying health issues caused Floyd’s death, and both the family and their attorney are pursuing a second opinion.
George Floyd died on Memorial Day after a group of four Minneapolis police officers detained him. Video revealed that Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes during that incident. That timeframe included more than two minutes during which the victim was clearly unconscious.
Despite that, the official autopsy detailed that there was no evidence of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.
Rather, the medical examiner listed coronary artery disease, hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants as central to Floyd’s death. The fact that the victim had been restrained by the police was noted as well, but it seemed that this was presented as part of the issue, not the primary cause of Floyd’s death.
On Saturday morning, Crump took to his Instagram page to share an official statement from the law firm and Floyd’s family in reaction to this preliminary autopsy report.
“Because the findings of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s preliminary report do not address in detail the effect of the purposeful use of force on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the extent of Mr. Floyd’s suffering at the hands of the police, the family has chosen to engage an independent medical examiner to conduct their own autopsy,” the official family’s statement shared on Crump’s Instagram page detailed.
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SAY HIS NAME. George Floyd was only 46 years old when he was senselessly murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Raised in Houston, Mr. Floyd was a star football player and @usouthflorida graduate. Minneapolis was where he strived for a better life… but here we are… another Black person's life taken mercilessly by police. #JusticeForFloyd #ICantBreathe #GeorgeFloyd #SayHisName
“We are not surprised yet we are tragically disappointed in the preliminary autopsy findings… We hope that this does not reflect efforts to create a false narrative for the reason George Floyd died. Attempts to avoid the hard truth will not stand, and on behalf of the family, we are fiercely committed to bringing the truth to light,” Crump continued.
The law firm’s statement pointed out that Floyd was alive during the encounter with the police and dead after it. They noted that they believe there was a clear proximity between the force that the police used in the encounter and Floyd’s subsequent death.
The family will have another autopsy performed in the Minneapolis area within the next few days. The statement named forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden along with Dr. Allecia Wilson as the experts who will take this on. The results will be made public.
The statement from the law firm ended by calling for peace in Minneapolis, as well as across the country, as they work to bring justice to Floyd’s family.
Many people following this case had already been calling for an independent autopsy performed on behalf of the family. It appears that the reaction to Crump’s statement is quite positive and people across the nation will be following this case closely as these next steps play out.