George Floyd, the Afro-American man whose death at the hands of a white police officer has been the trigger for the last week’s protests in the United States, tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3, almost two months before he died without symptoms, according to new autopsy data released this Wednesday.
However, that illness was not among the factors that caused his death, according to the full autopsy report released late Wednesday by Hennepin County Coroner’s Office Andrew Baker and reproduced by local press. .
Floyd’s death, which occurred on May 25, was caused by a “cardiorespiratory arrest” that occurred while immobilized by several police officers, the Baker report indicates.
This 46-year-old man “was positive for SARS-CoV-2 as of April 3, 2020,” and the autopsy result probably reflects an “asymptomatic but persistent positivity for previous infection,” the document said.
The fact that the autopsy detected the pathology surely has to do with the fact that “positivity (due to COVID-19) can persist for weeks after contraction and resolution of the clinical disease,” explains the report.
Autopsy “blunt force injuries” include skin on the forehead, face, and upper lip, as well as on the mucosa of the lips, shoulders, hands, elbows, and legs, as well as bruising on the wrists.
And as underlying conditions discovered, the report details arteriosclerotic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, and a pelvic tumor.
An autopsy ordered by Floyd’s family noted that he died of “suffocation due to sustained pressure.”
According to that medical report, “there was a compression of the neck and back that led to a lack of blood supply to the brain,” Floyd said, the victim’s family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, at a press conference.
The coroners add in their report that “weight on the back, handcuffs and posture were contributing factors because they paralyzed the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function.”
Passers-by at the scene of the incident recorded a video on their mobile cameras showing policeman Derek Chauvin pressing Floyd’s neck with one knee for almost nine minutes, and his complaints that he could not breathe.
This Wednesday, the attorney general of the state of Minnesota (USA), Keith Ellison, toughened the charges against that police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, who now faces the charge of second-degree murder, after being charged last 29 May third-degree murder and reckless manslaughter.
Meanwhile, officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, present during Floyd’s arrest, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.