George Floyd’s preliminary autopsy raises the question: Was this another rush to judgement?

Almost totally absent from the mainstream news Friday, as the violent insurrection in the wake of George Floyd’s death spread to cities nationwide, were the preliminary results of his autopsy. The report was part of the arrest warrant for Derek Michael Chauvin, the disgraced former Minneapolis police officer who was taken into custody on Friday afternoon and charged with the third-degree murder of Floyd while he was in police custody last Monday evening. The brief mention of the autopsy suggests that the case against Chauvin, and possibly his three colleagues assuming they too will eventually be charged, for being totally responsible for the death of Floyd may not be as cut and dried as previously thought.

The Washington Times headlined its story Friday afternoon “Asphyxiation not the cause of George Floyd's death: Autopsy.” An examination of the official complaint (arrest warrant) for Chauvin includes this sentence from a paragraph about Floyd’s cause of death on page 3:

The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.

Screen shot of paragraph from State of Minnesota vs. Derek Michael Chauvin

The eight-minute cell phone video showing Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck after the latter’s arrest for allegedly trying to pass a $20 counterfeit bill, has become one of the most viewed videos of a police action of all time. Reporters, analysts, and almost everyone else in the country from left, right, and center have immediately jumped to the conclusion that Chauvin is clearly guilty of the murder of Floyd. The full autopsy, when it is finally made public, may render that popular conclusion before the wheels of justice have had a chance to turn another rush to judgement – not unlike what happened in the cases of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray after additional evidence came to light in determining the responsibility for their deaths. “Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” after all, is a high standard to achieve in the American judicial system.

Also on Friday, as reported by Fox News:

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Floyd's family, said Friday that talk of a heart condition or asthma was irrelevant because Floyd was walking and breathing before his contact with police.

Crump further stated, according to newsfeeds dot media:

Former New York City chief medical examiner Michael Baden will conduct an independent autopsy on George Floyd following his death after being pinned by a Minneapolis police officer.

Dr. Michael Baden, who previously conducted an independent autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein, will do the examination after the family takes Floyd’s body back from the state, their lawyer said Friday.

“We’re going to take custody back of his body, and we’re bringing in Dr. Michael Baden to perform an independent autopsy,” the attorney, Ben Crump, said at a news conference, 1010 WINS reported.

“The family does not trust anything coming from the Minneapolis Police Department. How can they?” Crump added.

Photo credit: YouTube screren grab

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