George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19, autopsy shows
George Floyd had likely contracted and recovered from the novel coronavirus at the time of his death in Minneapolis police custody last week, according to an autopsy report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office that also showed trace amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.
The 20-page report is dated May 25, the day of Floyd’s death. It indicates Floyd had tested positive for the virus on April 3, suggesting he had likely recovered by the time of his death. While a post mortem nasal swab confirmed the diagnosis, the report released on Wednesday noted “the result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent … positivity from previous infection.”
The report, which lists Floyd’s ultimate cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” contradicts that of an independent examiner hired by Floyd’s family, which attributed Floyd’s death as “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.” The county report does not list the trace amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine as a cause of Floyd’s death.
Floyd died last week after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him face-down on the pavement by kneeling on the back of his neck for several minutes over Floyd’s protests that he could not breathe. Chauvin continued kneeling for minutes after Floyd was no longer responsive. The death has been ruled a homicide, or the result of deliberate actions taken by another, regardless of whether the death itself was deliberate.
Chauvin was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) announced the charges against Chauvin would be upgraded to second-degree murder and that the other three officers present on the scene were also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
“To the Floyd family, to our beloved community, and everyone that is watching, I say: George Floyd mattered. He was loved. His life was important. His life had value. We will seek justice for him and for you and we will find it,” Ellison said Wednesday.