Tags: George Floyd Protests | Law Enforcement | george floyd | fentanyl | coroner | drug abuse | riots

Coroner Found 'Fatal Levels' of Fentanyl in George Floyd

A protester holds a placard showing George Floyd's death
A protester holds a placard showing George Floyd's death. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 27 August 2020 05:46 PM

New court documents filed in the case of four former Minneapolis police officers being prosecuted for the death of George Floyd while in custody indicated the coroner found "no physical evidence . . . of asphyxiation" and a "fatal level" of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in the dead man's system.

The revelations were in memos dated May 26 and June 1 – one day and a week after Floyd died – by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. They were submitted to the court Tuesday, a day after one of the officers, Tou Thao, requested the release of the full autopsy report, Fox's Minneapolis network affiliate KMSP reported.

"The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation," Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker told the prosecutor's office, according to the May 26 memo. The autopsy was incomplete, it said, pending a toxicology report. 

The June 1 memo said Baker indicated Floyd's level of fentanyl was "pretty high" and at a potentially "fatal level."

"[Baker] said that if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home [or anywhere else] and there were no other contributing factors he would conclude that it was an overdose death," it said. 

Handwritten notes of an interview with Baker by prosecutors said Floyd had a "heavy heart" and "at least one artery was approximately 75% blocked," according to NBC's Minneapolis affiliate KARE.

Baker's office released its final autopsy report June 1, classifying the death as a "homicide" but declaring the cause of death as "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

Floyd's death sparked riots in Minneapolis and elsewhere, which have continued in Portland, Oregon, particularly, by those who considered it an example of systemic racism in law enforcement and in society in general. The riots were fueled by civilian video of Floyd being restrained by police on the ground face down with one of the four officers' knee on his neck.

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New court documents filed in the case of four former Minneapolis police officers being prosecuted for the death of George Floyd while in custody indicated the coroner found "no physical evidence . . . of asphyxiation" and a "fatal level" of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
george floyd, fentanyl, coroner, drug abuse, riots
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2020-46-27
Thursday, 27 August 2020 05:46 PM
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