Medical examiner releases 20-page autopsy report on George Floyd

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office released the report with Floyd's family's consent.
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The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office took the rare step of releasing a full autopsy report into the death of George Floyd.

The examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, released the 20-page document late Wednesday evening with the permission of Floyd's family and their legal team.

After initially suggesting an underlying heart condition and potential intoxication combined with being held down by three police officers was behind his death, the medical examiner released a final ruling this week of "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdural, restraint, and neck compression."

This basically means he went into cardiac arrest brought on by his restraint from the three officers – one of whom, Derek Chauvin, had his knee against Floyd's neck for almost 9 minutes.

Here's a look at some of the key points from the report:

– Floyd had blunt force bruises and abrasions to the forehead, face, and upper lip, as well as the shoulders, hands, elbows, and legs, and bruising of the wrists, consistent with his handcuffing.

– He had severe arteriosclerotic heart disease. He also had an enlarged heart and a history of hypertension.

– He tested positive for COVID-19, but this wasn't listed as a contributing factor to his death. Baker said the positive result "most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection," noting that the virus can persist for weeks after the onset and recovery from the disease.

– A toxicology report found traces of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, as well as emethamphetamine

– There were no life-threatening injuries to his head, spine, chest, brain, larynx, or skull.

– There were also no petechiae (small broken blood vessels) in his face, mouth, and eyes, which is a common sign of asphyxia, which the autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family says was the cause of death, but which Dr. Baker did not find was the case. What both did agree on was the manner of death was homicide.

– No bruising or hemorrhaging noted in the musculature of the neck. 

– He had a broken rib resulting from resuscitation efforts.

You can read the full report here.

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