Newly released evidence filed in the case against the four former Minneapolis Police officers accused of murdering George Floyd indicate that a “fatal level” of fentanyl was found in Floyd’s blood, suggesting that he died of an overdose, not asphyxiation. The toxicology report also found Methamphetamine, Norfentanyl, and 4-ANPP in Floyd’s bloodstream.
Hennepin County Attorney's Office released this document. Dr. Andrew Baker, the Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner who reviewed #GeorgeFloyd's blood test, says the substances found lead him to conclude it was an overdose death. #BlackLivesMatter. Read: pic.twitter.com/xyaQvHDpQw
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 25, 2020
The evidence was filed in the case on Tuesday after former officer Tou Thao’s attorneys requested the release of the full autopsy reports from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner and the private medical examiners hired by George Floyd’s family, Fox 9 reported.
A May 26 memorandum filed after a meeting with the Attorney’s Office reveals that Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker stated that “the autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation.”
Baker noted that the blood samples he used were from Floyd’s hospital admission, and were not acquired during the autopsy. “Samples taken at autopsy may have undergone port-mortem distribution,” the memo said.
A later memo filed by the Attorney’s Office indicated that Baker said the level of fentanyl in Floyd was “pretty high,” and at a “fatal level.”
“[Dr. Andrew Baker] said that if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he would conclude that it was an overdose death,” the June 1 memo said.
Regardless, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ultimately concluded on June 1 that Floyd’s death was a homicide, saying, “His death was caused by the police subdual and restraint in the setting of severe hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and methamphetamine and fentanyl intoxication.”
The Armed Forces Medical Examiner filed a memorandum agreeing with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s final conclusion that Floyd’s death was a homicide, saying, “His death was caused by the police subdual and restraint in the setting of severe hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and methamphetamine and fentanyl intoxication.”
The 46-year-old career criminal was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Video of a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes while Floyd was handcuffed sparked widespread outrage and all the officers involved in the arrest were immediately fired.
Officer Derek Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, to which was later added second-degree murder. The three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and subsequently charged manslaughter, or abetting manslaughter.
Body camera footage leaked earlier this month shows Floyd resisting arrest for several minutes while officers struggle to maintain control of the situation.
One officer asked Floyd, “Are you one something right now?”
“Because you’re acting really erratic,” another one said.
Floyd continued to resist, claiming that he was claustrophobic and could not breathe when they tried to put him in a squad car.
“I can’t breathe,” he cried several times, well before Officer Chauvin knelt on his neck.
When officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao then arrived on the scene, Chauvin placed his knee over Floyd’s neck to subdue him, and Floyd continued to protest he could not breathe.
The incident sparked violent riots in Minneapolis and throughout the United States that have simmered throughout the summer. In some places like Portland, Oregon, antifa-fueled riots have intensified and show no sign of letting up as long as local Democrats force the police to stand down.
A police shooting of another repeat offender resisting arrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday has now sparked ongoing Black Lives Matter riots in that city that are threatening to be as violent and destructive as the Floyd riots.