Medical Examiner: George Floyd Wasn’t Asphyxiated

Medical Examiner: George Floyd Wasn’t Asphyxiated, by John Hinderaker.

Recall how in the Travyon Martin, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” and a dozen other US racial episodes, the initial picture painted by the media turned out to be completely untrue? Pretty much the reverse of what happened? But that the left continued with the initial picture, long after it was shown to be false, and in fact never acknowledged the truth? In both cases mentioned it took a few days for the truth to emerge.

Just last night Joanne and I were watching this on the news. Sure looks pretty bad for the cops — a pretty straightforward case of police brutality, we thought. But let’s wait a few days to see if something else arises.

Lo and behold:

Today we got the first information from Hennepin County’s Medical Examiner, in an attachment to the criminal complaint against officer Derek Chauvin:

“The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. 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.”

Emphasis added. Further, the complaint’s Statement of Probable Cause recites that Floyd complained of being unable to breathe well before Officer Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck:

“While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe.”

Does this mean that the officers’ handling of the situation was a model of fine police work? Of course not. And the manner in which they handled Floyd could have contributed to his death, according to the Medical Examiner. But the outrage over the Floyd case has mostly been based on the assumption that Officer Chauvin choked him to death by kneeling on his throat. If that assumption is false, the story is far more nuanced.

But as noted above, the actual incident has almost nothing to do with the ensuing violence. The latter is all about narrative and power. As for truth and facts, our postmodern ruling class pays only occasional lip service (when convenient).