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BREAKING: Family autopsy says Floyd died of asphyxia from neck, back compression

Attorneys for the family of George Floyd, the unarmed black suspect who died while in Minneapolis police custody over Memorial Day weekend, said a second, independent autopsy conducted into Floyd’s death show he died from asphyxia.

That asphyxia, according to well-known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, was caused by neck and back compression placed by police officers on Floyd during his arrest over Memorial Day weekend.

“George died because he needed a breath,” Crump said during a Monday afternoon news conference. “I implore all of us to take a breath for justice, to take a breath for peace, to take a breath for our country and to take a breath for George.”

Crump said two “outstanding” doctors — Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson — conducted the autopsy. Baden is the former chief medical examiner of New York City, who was hired to conduct an autopsy of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after New York police placed him in a chokehold and he pleaded that he could not breathe.

Baden also conducted an independent autopsy of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri. He said Brown’s autopsy, requested by the teen’s family, didn’t reveal signs of a struggle, casting doubt on a claim by police that a struggle between Brown and the officer led to the shooting.

The family’s autopsy differs from the official autopsy as described in a criminal complaint against the officer. That autopsy included the effects of being restrained, along with underlying health issues and potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system, but also said it found nothing “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

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