The 20-page report released by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office came with the family’s permission and after the coroner’s office released summary conclusions on Monday that Floyd had a heart attack while he was overpowered by officers, and classified his death on May 25 as a homicide.
Video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin leaning his knee on Floyd’s neck, ignoring the cries of Floyd “I can’t breathe” until he finally stops moving, triggered national protests, sometimes violent.
The report by chief medical examiner Andrew Baker set out clinical details, including that Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3, but appeared asymptomatic. The report also noted that Floyd’s lungs seemed healthy but that he had narrowed arteries in the heart.
The county’s previous summary report listed fentanyl poisoning and recent methamphetamine use in “other important conditions” but not under “cause of death”. The report’s footnotes indicate that signs of fentanyl toxicity may include “severe respiratory depression” and seizures.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday raised charges against Chauvin for second degree murder, and also charged the other three officers at the scene of aiding and abetting.
The Floyd family’s lawyer Ben Crump previously decried the official autopsy – as described in the original complaint against Chauvin – for excluding the asphyxiation. An autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family concluded that he died of suffocation due to compression of the neck and back.