As reported by BBC, George Floyd pleaded with the officer to remove his knee from his neck, as he could not catch his breath. However, Derek Chauvin told him to “stop talking, yelling,” because “It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.” Within six minutes, Floyd appeared to be unresponsive. Although an ambulance was called and Floyd was rushed to the Hennepin County Medical Center, he never recovered and was pronounced dead.

Video footage of the incident, which was filmed by witnesses and widely shared on social media, sparked immediate outrage. In the video it appeared that Floyd’s death was a direct result of Chauvin’s decision to place his knee on Floyd’s neck for what seemed to be an unusually long period of time. However, following the release of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report, it has been suggested that Floyd’s history of drug use and a pre-existing heart condition may have contributed to his death.

In a press release provided by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, it was revealed that Floyd’s cause of death was “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression” and that the manner of death was “homicide.” Pathologist Andrew M. Baker, M.D., who conducted the autopsy (posted at Autopsy Files), confirmed Floyd “became unresponsive while being restrained by law enforcement officers” and that although he received emergency medical care, he was unable to be resuscitated.

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