Well, this isn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the exculpation of the cops by the state’s medical examiner, especially in view of that video showing a man repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe. CNN reports the results of an independent autopsy (click on screenshot):
An independent autopsy found that George Floyd’s death was a homicide and the unarmed black man died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”
The autopsy says compression to Floyd’s neck and back led to a lack of blood flow to his brain.
Floyd was essentially “dead on the scene” in Minneapolis on May 25, said Ben Crump, attorney for the Floyd family. Multiple videos of Floyd’s death show former police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, along with other officers kneeling on his back.
Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total and two minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“The ambulance was his hearse,” Crump told reporters Monday. “George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air.”
“There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death,” said Dr. Michael Baden, one of the independent medical examiners. “Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That’s not true.”
The state’s coroner, of course, had a different result:
The independent autopsy’s findings come after the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” according to the criminal complaint.
Preliminary autopsy results cited in the complaint said combined effects of being restrained, any potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, probably contributed to his death. Toxicology results can take weeks.
You know what? I don’t even care if the state’s autopsy results are correct (I doubt they are), as they still show murder. If Floyd would have lived had the cop not had a knee on his neck, I don’t care much about other “contributory factors”. The knee made him die when he wouldn’t have died otherwise, and that’s all there is, folks. The charges might be less, but I don’t trust the state’s results.
I am also wondering whether, if the cop gets convicted, he’ll get a more severe punishment than if Floyd was murdered by a civilian. Pondering this, I think he should, for the cops have the authority to detain people, and nobody can stop them if they choose to put a knee on someone’s neck, even if it’s uncalled for. This means that for reasons of deterrence alone, cops need to learn the consequences of such behavior. With the power they have, they need a strong incentive to use it responsibly and humanely.
Of course if the perp, Officer Derek Chauvin, goes to jail, he’s going to have a very rough time of it.
And these autopsy results will energize the protests. So long as they’re not violent, that’s fine with me.
It’s beyond belief that that cop would kneel on a protesting man for over eight minutes and then not let up when the man became unresponsive. What kind of monster would do that?