The attorney representing the family of George Floyd, the unarmed man whose police killing prompted intense, widespread protesting throughout the United States, has spoken out against the inclusion of certain details in the county medical examiner’s autopsy report.
As the New York Post reports, attorney Ben Crump spoke at a news conference on Tuesday, where he was critical of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office for releasing what he characterized as a “red herring” in the toxicology findings included in the final autopsy report.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the final autopsy report listed Floyd’s manner of death as a homicide and stated that he died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” The medical examiner’s report notes that Floyd experienced the cardiac event while he was being restrained by police. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was fired the day after Floyd’s death, was captured on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes; and reportedly kept his knee pressed on Floyd for nearly 3 minutes after the man became unresponsive.
The autopsy report also noted that Floyd had existing conditions of heart disease, recent methamphetamine use, and fentanyl intoxication.
The attorney said that details about Floyd’s reported intoxication were a “red herring” that distracted from the police violence that ultimately caused his death.
“It is an attempt to assassinate his character after they assassinated him right then on the video,” Crump said on Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
Floyd’s family had commissioned an independent autopsy, which also found that Floyd died of homicide but listed asphyxia from neck and back compression as the cause of death.
Four Minneapolis police officers were involved in Floyd’s arrest on suspicion of using counterfeit money at a supermarket. All four were fired but only Chauvin has been charged. Crump said he expects the remaining three officers to face charges as well.
According to the report, the lawyer also said he believes that Chauvin’s charges will be upgraded from third-degree murder to first degree murder.
“I think it’s very likely that the charges are going to be upgraded … why is it when a white police [officer] kills a black person in America we act like it’s such a difficult thing to charge them with what we would be charged with?” Crump reportedly said on the “Today” show.
CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace also argued for Chauvin’s charges to be upgraded.
“Why is this not murder one?” she asked in a “Crime Stories” episode this week.
“You point a gun and pull the trigger — the law presumes you mean to kill,” Nancy said.
“You hold your knee on a man’s neck for this long — the law presumes you mean to suffocate him.”
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