The family of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died shortly after he was arrested by police officers on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, has retained prominent forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to perform an independent autopsy.
Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, confirmed to Fox News Friday that the Floyd family had asked him to perform the autopsy and said he would travel to Minneapolis Saturday. Baden added that he would discuss his findings early next week.
Earlier Friday, former police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case, which sparked protests across the United States and riots in Minneapolis. A criminal complaint against Chauvin states that he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, including nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped moving and talking.
Police had arrested Floyd and were trying to put him in a squad car when he stiffened up and fell to the ground, saying he was claustrophobic, according to the complaint.
An official autopsy revealed nothing to support strangulation as the cause of death, concluding that the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Floyd's family, said Friday that talk of a heart condition or asthma was irrelevant because Floyd was walking and breathing before his contact with police.
In 2014, Baden was hired to do an independent autopsy of Eric Garner, a black man in New York City who died after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life, saying he could not breathe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.