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posted by martyb on Tuesday June 02 2020, @07:30PM   Printer-friendly

African-American George Floyd's death has led to marches, demonstrations, acts of violence, and looting across the USA and in other parts of the world. Emotions are running high. We will not attempt to accuse or defend anyone here. Just attempt to lay out the information we have and offer it up for the community to discuss. Many comments about this incident have been posted to unrelated stories on this site. This is, therefore, an attempt to provide one place on SoylentNews where people are encouraged to discuss it. So as to not derail other stories on the site, I kindly ask you focus those comments here.

Wikipedia has a page about this: (permanent link to the page as it appeared at the time of writing):

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd became unresponsive.[3][4][5][6][7] Officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane participated in Floyd's arrest, with Kueng holding Floyd's back, Lane holding his legs, and Thao looking on and preventing intervention by an onlooker as he stood nearby.[8]:6:24[9][10]

The arrest was made after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market.[11] Police said Floyd physically resisted arrest.[12][13] Some media organizations commented that a security camera from a nearby business did not show Floyd resisting.[14][15] The criminal complaint filed later said that based on body camera footage, Floyd repeatedly said he couldn't breathe while standing outside the police car, resisted getting in the car and intentionally fell down.[16][17][18][19] Several bystanders recorded the event on their smartphones, with one video showing Floyd repeating "Please", "I can't breathe", "Mama", and "Don't kill me" being widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media.[20] While knee-to-neck restraints are allowed in Minnesota under certain circumstances, Chauvin's usage of the technique has been widely criticized by law enforcement experts as excessive.[21][22][23] All four officers were fired the day after the incident.[24]

[...] Charges: Third-degree murder (Chauvin) Second-degree manslaughter (Chauvin)

This has been extensively covered by the media. Some outlets attempt to put their own interpretations on their coverage with their selection of video footage and with their commentary. It is difficult to find a simple video of the incident. Here is one that has coverage from the time of initial encounter of the police the officers with George Floyd up through his being taken away by ambulance. The video is a composite of shots from a restaurant's surveillance camera (Dragon Wok), Officer body cam, and bystander cell phones. YouTube footage: Full George Floyd Available Footage (21:12). If anyone has more complete footage of the arrest, please mention it clearly (with a link) in the comments.

Lastly, this is a hard time for everybody. Pandemic. Lock-down. Unemployment. Fears. Please be mindful of others' circumstances when commenting. We are a community sprung from a time of challenge. Let us continue to be here for one-another during this difficult time. SoylentNews is People.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @07:53PM (14 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @07:53PM (#1002309)

    Was wondering when this talking point would come up.

    Autopsy report confirmed he died of asphyxiation, AKA he couldn't breathre. To explain how this seems to go against your "Air must come from the lungs and get pushed through the larynx in order to make sounds" I refer you to [] where you can learn some science. You can die from asphyxiation yet still be getting some amount of air into the lungs, and due to his thrashing around, woops I MEAN RESISTING ARREST /s he likely was able to get snatches of breath in.

    So you just blamed the victim of murder, good job (is what I imagine Trump would tell you).

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:48PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:48PM (#1002395)

    No, the orange man would say that GP is the best commenter he's ever seen, that no one is better.
    Then he'd say that GP was useless, that you never ever could get one sensible word from him.
    Then he'd say he's never even heard of the guy.
    Then he'd say the GP is part of a big democrat conspiracy to prevent him from becoming the one to rule them all.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:29PM (#1002439)

      ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL, ONE... woops nevermind, that's just a Happy Meal toy.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:52AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:52AM (#1002520)

    Hi, European lurker here. Didn't the guy die because a heart attack? That's what I have read the autopsy concluded.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:37AM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:37AM (#1002536)

      There are two autopsies, as can be seen here [].
      While both of them concluded it was a homicide, they gave very different reasons for the cause of death. They also disagreed as to underlying toxicology results and stresses put on different anatomy. The private autopsy was so different from the first, that they ended up changing the findings of the first one to be more in line with the second after it was released. The whole autopsy situation is screwed-up, as there is no way that both can be true at the same time. Now to editorialize, I find the second one more credible because it is more detailed and wasn't subsequently altered with corrections that changed some important conclusions and facts. But you are free to come to your own judgment.

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Reziac on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:11AM (6 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:11AM (#1002545) Homepage

        According to another report, Baden's "autopsy" consisted of viewing the tape; it was not hands-on.

        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:42AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:42AM (#1002553)

          [citation needed]

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:48AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:48AM (#1002555)

          According to a lie I just concocted, Baden's "autopsy" consisted of viewing the tape; it was not hands-on.

          There. FTFY.

          More info, which provides further support for GP's comment:

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:41AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:41AM (#1002587)

            Original autopsy:

            no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation

            Second autopsy:

            "Condition of the body included:

            Hemorrhage over the vertebral bodies and in the cervical region was found
            Hemorrhage on the outside of the carotid artery at the level of the C3, C4, C5 was found
            Hemorrhage in wrists and forearms was found
            Lungs not congested or infected
            No issues with the liver, spleen, intestines, kidneys

            Findings Related to Cause of Death:

            He died of asphyxia due to neck and back pressure
            Pressure on the neck and back interfered with his breathing and blood flow to the brain
            Weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability to breathe
            George Floyd died at the scene
            No other obvious cause of death
            The cause of death is consistent with what we see on the video. No other cause of death is present in the autopsy
            Later information will not change cause of death, but will be informative
            The toxicology findings are helpful in understanding the circumstances of death but are not a cause or contributing cause of death.

            Updated autopsy:

            cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression

            Where did that "neck compression" come from? I thought you said earlier there were "no physical findings" that supported such a theory.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:18AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:18AM (#1003031)

              Full report says he was positive for SARS-CoV-2: Fentanyl, meth and COVID-19 with an underlying heart condition.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @08:22AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @08:22AM (#1003111)

              Here is some more from the full autopsy report:

              III. No life-threatening injuries identified
              A. No facial, oral mucosal, or conjunctival petechiae
              B. No injuries of anterior muscles of neck or laryngeal
              C. No scalp soft tissue, skull, or brain injuries
              D. No chest wall soft tissue injuries, rib fractures (other
              than a single rib fracture from CPR), vertebral column
              injuries, or visceral injuries
              E. Incision and subcutaneous dissection of posterior and
              lateral neck, shoulders, back, flanks, and buttocks
              negative for occult trauma

              NECK: Layer by layer dissection of the anterior strap muscles of
              the neck discloses no areas of contusion or hemorrhage within
              the musculature. The thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone are
              intact. The larynx is lined by intact mucosa. The thyroid is
              symmetric and red-brown, without cystic or nodular change. The
              tongue is free of bite marks, hemorrhage, or other injuries.
              The cervical spinal column is palpably stable and free of

              Still no sign of the neck injuries there.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:29PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:29PM (#1002799)

        A person can indeed have multiple causes of death, or indeterminate final cause of death with multiple contributing factors. You shoot, stab, bludgeon, and poison somebody else, and it's provable that you did all four, the cause of death selected won't matter so long as all of the cited cause is correct and supports the manner of death of homicide. (Homicide, suicide, accident, natural, undetermined).

        Or, put another way to this case: All deaths occur because of cardiac arrest. What causes the cardiac arrest is important, but not as much as the manner of death and that the cause selected supports the manner. Because it's the manner which results in charges, if any. Lots of little nuances and the cause can be challenged or attacked. But whether the death was cardiac arrest from asphyxiation or hypoxia from suffocation won't matter all that much, so long as the knee was on the neck and the medical examiner supports that.

        Or, another another way: The coroner determines the manner of death, the medical examiner determines the cause of death. (And they don't have to be the same person....)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:40PM (#1002933)

          The "coroner" and "medical examiner" here were the same person. A person who said one thing, was called out by the second autopsy conducted by two highly reputable people in the profession, and then changed their story to add the obvious neck compression. Going from "no physical findings" to "complicating neck compression" is a huge step. And the difference is huge, especially in the impending lawsuit. Leaving it at just the two versions of what the first autopsy and its revision stated (and remember both were by the same person), what would you rather have said at a trial for your murder: "AC died of a heart attack and there is no evidence of being strangled" vs "AC died of a heart attack while being strangled"?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Tork on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:14AM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:14AM (#1002623)
      Yes, he wasn’t healthy enough to withstand eight minutes without air.
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