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Floyd died by homicide, medical examiner says

Hennepin County, Minnesota, medical examiners officially ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide in a postmortem report released Monday evening.

On May 25, Floyd "experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained" by law enforcement, said the report released by the county medical examiner's office that serves Minneapolis. The cause of death was "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression."

He died at 9:25 p.m.

A preliminary autopsy released Friday by the county ruled out strangulation and said "the combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death."

The new report mentioned that Floyd had heart disease. It also noted fentanyl intoxication and "recent methamphetamine use" as significant conditions, but it did not describe them as contributors. The county did not immediately respond to a request for comment explaining the update.

An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family determined that the cause of his death was “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” attorneys for the family announced Monday.

FILE - In this Monday, May 25, 2020, file frame from video, Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe, in Minneapolis. (Darnella Frazier via AP, File)

Floyd died in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee into the 46-year-old black man’s neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd said he plans to visit the scene of the incident this week. “I just want to feel my brother’s spirit,” he said Monday.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyds, said at a news conference Monday that Floyd died outside the corner store.

"The officers killed him based on a knee to his neck for almost nine minutes and two knees on his back, compressing his lungs," Crump said. "The ambulance was his hearse."

Antonio Romanucci, another attorney for the family, added that the weight of the other officers, Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng, prevented blood from flowing into Floyd's brain and air from entering his lungs.

Crump said Floyd's family wants former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder charge to be upgraded from third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter to a first-degree count and the other two officers to be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law."

"Essentially, George died because he needed a breath," Crump said.

Pockets of the United States descended into chaos over the weekend after more protests over the death of another black man in police custody, leading to another night of fire and fury, prompting President Donald Trump to urge the nation’s governors to use force and take back the streets.

During a conference call Monday, Trump berated the state leaders, calling them "weak," and urging them to "dominate" protesters, according to officials familiar with the president's remarks. The conference call followed the latest turbulent night across the nation as protests that began peacefully exploded into mayhem.

Demonstrators clashed with police outside the White House for a third consecutive night. More than half of the nation's governors have called in the National Guard to help quell the spreading unrest, and at least 45 million Americans were under a curfew on Sunday night.

In some cities, law enforcement officers were seen marching and kneeling with protesters. But elsewhere, police in riot gear continued to increase their use of force, which added to the disorder. On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, ordered a state investigation after a man was fatally shot during an overnight confrontation with Louisville police and the National Guard.

Former president Barack Obama spoke out about the unrest, urging those angered to focus their efforts on state and local elections.

More than 4,000 people were arrested across the country during weekend demonstrations, according to The Associated Press.

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