The cause of death for George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was brutally pinned to the ground by police in Minneapolis, has finally been revealed following days of protests and outrage.
George Floyd‘s cause of death has been shared with the public. The unarmed Black Minneapolis man, who was pinned down by police during an arrest, died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” according to attorney Ben Crump in a statement made to CNN. An independent autopsy revealed that he was essentially “dead on the scene” on May 25, Crump shared with the outlet. “The ambulance was his hearse,” the family’s attorney told reporters on June 1.
After the family revealed its own independent findings, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner released its own toxicology findings, according to TMZ, and results claim George had fentanyl in his system at the time of his death. The findings also say he suffered a heart attack while he was getting arrested, and it complicated the cops’ efforts to control him. However, his manner of death was still listed as a homicide. It was also noted in the report that George had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3, NBC News reports. The positive test after death means that George was likely asymptomatic when he died on May 25.
In the disturbing footage taken by Minneapolis citizens, George could be heard breathlessly pleading with law enforcement, “please, please I can’t breathe.” The unarmed Black man was pinned down by his neck, with a white officer on top of him, forcing his knee down on George. “My stomach hurts…my neck hurts,” George could be heard saying in the witness’s clip. Following the horrific scene, George became unconscious and was taken by stretcher to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m. on May 25. The four officers responsible have since been “terminated” by the Minneapolis Police Department. On May 29, Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 1, 2020
In the days following George’s death, protests broke out across Minneapolis and took a violent turn. A police precinct in the city was set ablaze, a number of demonstrators were seen taking items from a local Target, and a CNN crew reporting from the site of protests on May 29 was arrested during their on-air reporting. Correspondent Omar Jiminez was among the CNN crew that was arrested. They were released one hour after being taken into custody.
Public figures and celebrities alike also took to their respective social media accounts to voice their outrage over the loss of George’s life and the lack of action from the Minneapolis police department. “Then, if we don’t, it goes unnoticed. I’m ready when y’all is… IT won’t STOP UNTIL WE STOP IT‼️ #ByAnyMeans #LongLiveGeorgeFloyd #USorELSE” LeBron James, an outspoken critic of police brutality, wrote on social media. The basketball player also posted a picture of himself wearing a shirt with Eric Garner’s last words (“I can’t breathe”) on May 27, a day after he posted a side-by-side image of a kneeling Colin Kapernick opposite the MPD officer seen pressing his knee onto George Floyd’s neck. “Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??” LeBron’s caption read.
Stars and public figures like presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden, Zoe Kravitz, Eva Longoria, Jamie Lee Curtis, Madonna, Penelope Cruz, Cardi B, Pharrell Williams, T.I., Halle Berry, and Jessica Alba also posted a picture of George Floyd to their respective Instagram accounts. Many of the posts featured George’s dying words: “Please, I can’t breathe. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. They’re going to kill me.”