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George Floyd died of asphyxia, private autopsy finds (bbc.co.uk)
88 points by jhow15 35 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 52 comments



It is just staggering to believe that they tried to hide the real cause of death amidst all this protesting. Like they genuinely thought they could get away with just sweeping it under the rug.


<sarcasm> There were no ligature marks from a rope, so therefore could not have been asphyxia </sarcasm>.

Depending on people's willingness to be blind, the rug is HUGE.


Wait, was that in question?


As a frequent reader of thedonald.win, for some people, yes... yes, it was.

I honestly don't know how you could mentally wiggle yourself into thinking that 8:45 seconds of someone being on your neck could have an alternative cause of death. Hell, but let's say it was something else. Let's say it was actually a heart attack that ultimately did him in. Does that matter? Surely, we can point towards the stress of having someone on your neck for almost 10min as a contributor...?

Honestly, I'm baffled by the mental gymnastics.


I'm puzzled by this though, isn't the knee on the neck thing a standard technique used by cops all the time? Apparently people don't usually die from it or this would happen all the time, right? Was the cop somehow doing it wrong?


It’s a standard submission technique however you aren’t supposed to put your weight on the neck it’s more to restrict movement of the shoulders and the head the weight should be on the upper spine between the shoulder blades with the knee extended to the top of the neck, if you press on the side of the neck if it’s rotated or put your weight onto the neck itself you can kill the person.

Alternatively another technique locks the neck between the foot and the knee and again you aren’t supposed to put your weight on the neck unless you want to kill the person.

Untrained cop on a power trip using improper technique to subdue a person for a fucking forever and a half is a recipe for disaster.

BTW I would bet on most cops not knowing how to perform this properly the only reason you usually don’t have casualties and fatalities is due to the fact that they only hold the suspect in submission for a few seconds until they are cuffed or until their partner arrives to hold them down not like 10 min or what ever that it was.


> Untrained cop on a power trip using improper technique to subdue a person for a fucking forever and a half is a recipe for disaster.

What makes you assume the cop wasn't deliberately trying to murder? Or did you mean it more as an 'in general' statement?


I'm not a cop. I don't know how they're trained.

I think the egregiousness comes not from the move itself, but the duration a excessive use given the person was already subdued, in hand cuffs, on the ground, and not resisting.

I don't think anyone would complain about a knee on the neck of someone actively resisting arrest while they were getting the situation under control.


No one on thedonal.win thought Floyd wasn't asphyxiated by Chauvin and Trump supporters are as appalled and enraged as anyone else with Chauvin's murder of Floyd.

Even right wing sites like PJ Media railed that it took 3 days to arrest Chauvin.


how on earth do you read thedonald.win regularly.

To me it's a better formatted version of 4chan. its a collection of trolls all circle jerking.


I'm late to see and reply to this, but to answer your question, I read it (as well as listen to "alt-right" media) because I like trying to form my own opinions on things, which I don't think I'm able to do well without consuming these other sources and seeing the various lines being toed across them.

That said, it's been a frustrating read the last few days. The lack of anything resembling nuance is astounding.


See here: https://www.mystateline.com/news/national/medical-examiner-n...

> The medical examiner said 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,” the medical examiner reported.


How are they even allowed to say "any potential intoxicants" when they haven't tested for intoxicants? Did they do a test? That seems like a very powerful and prone-to-misuse political tool.


You should watch the full length video of the fraud bust. It was very clear from the video that the police on the scene seemed to think he was under influence of drugs. They asked repeatedly what he "was on." They commented to bystanders, "this is why you don't do drugs, kids."

They tried to get him into police car for 10min and he resisted, and was saying that he couldn't breathe even prior to the knee+neck incident.

Combine this anecdotal information with a long rap sheet involving felony drug charges ( https://i.redd.it/2sc99kysho151.jpg ) and you have a pretty decent rough estimate that he was on drugs at the time. I'd also like to see official toxicology reports though.


I'm going out on a limb here but I'm thinking these protests aren't just about one guy.


What does "potential" in "any potential intoxicants in his system" mean? I thought the point of an autopsy is to remove doubt, not add to it.


If I recall, that was a preliminary report. Perhaps the tests hadn't come back?

(access is restricted for european visitors I can't follow the link)


Makes sense


the cop's autopsy blamed underlying health conditions, unsurprisingly. They'll protect their own at all costs and lie to us in broad daylight. Abolish the police.


I'm sorry if it's a stupid question, but I'm not American and not a native English speaker. What do you mean when you say "Abolish the police"? You think there shouldn't be police at all? Or that it needs a reform? Do you disagree with the idea of having laws? I'm genuinely asking because I'm seeing this phrase more and more now and I'm not sure what people actually mean when they say that.


the argument is that there shouldn't be police forces as we know them today -- that the whole issue of crime and punishment should be handled completely differently, with communities organizing themselves to prevent malicious activity. typically this argument goes along with the idea of abolishing prisons as well, and ending incarceration as punishment for crimes.

it's not a completely ridiculous idea -- there have been many societies throughout history that didn't have formal professional police forces, but still had functioning legal systems. it's also particularly appealing in the US because the police and prison systems here have such severe problems and seemingly cannot be reformed.

(unclear whether it could actually work at a large scale in the modern world, but I can see some of the appeal.)

police and prison abolition have also just become buzzwords, so sometimes people just use them to express frustration, or to describe what are really reforms.


Thank you very much for this detailed explanation. What societies do you have in mind that had a legal system but no formal policing force? Would be interesting to learn more about it. I remember the concept of police appears even in the bible, so I assumed it was pretty much always there.


One example is England up until the 19th century, which had a well-established court system but no formal police departments, just unpaid constables, local militias, etc. I think it was probably similar in many other parts of Europe. I'm not an expert on the history by any means, though.


> Abolish the police.

Ok, I'll entertain the thought, what do you propose to replace it? Free for all deathmatch?


When people say 'Abolish the police', what they mean is tearing down the entire current institution and reforming it from the bottom-up. The corruption is so deeply embedded that if you try to do anything else, you'll end up right back where we started.


> Abolish the police.

Or, perhaps, remove qualified immunity.


The issue is injustice. What alternative to the police is there? Anarchy? Is that going to result in justice? Abolishing the police is not going to fix the issue.


Do you mean all police (detectives, parking enforcement, arson investigators, etc.?) or select divisions within the police? If all police, what do you suggest is it replaced with? A federal police force?


Those particular ones? Sure. In general? That’s laughable. I’ve lived in places like that. The crime rate is sky high. Hell, the city I was born in was once the murder capital of the world.

Only people I’ve ever seen say things like this are people who have never seen what they’re talking about.


In the GDR (East Germany) during Stalin's period running the Communist bloc, prior to about 1953 they used to execute dissidents using a guillotine in the Stasi basement. The death certificates stated the cause of death as "low blood pressure".

They knew it was wrong, they didn't want to leave any documentary evidence: this is the same bullshit, just closer to home.


So you're saying the most likely interpretation of the situation is that the minneapolis county medical examiner is like a communist secret police executioner?


That's an uncharitable read of that comment


Is that any more uncharitable than cstross's comparison with East Germany?


There are people (i.e A Sheriff's deputy) claiming [0] you can't choke someone to death with a knee to the neck. I'm not sure if the goal is claim Floyd didn't die, died of something else or they're just trying to spread disinformation

https://www.magnoliastatelive.com/2020/05/29/mississippi-she...


Per the current contents of that link, he is now a _former_ deputy.


"The findings differ from an official preliminary autopsy carried out by the county medical examiner."


From the article:

> The findings differ from an official preliminary autopsy carried out by the county medical examiner.


You can be pretty sure that the defence will belabour the point endlessly. There was mention of “possible intoxicants” or something like that in the coroner’s report.

I’m not American so... mine is just an imperfect and remote opinion. Maybe I don’t understand all the nuances and the implications.


Not really, but the "county medical examiner" didn't come to the same conclusion. IIRC they essentially blamed pre-existing conditions for causing his expiration right at the exact moment a cop was crushing his neck between a knee and the pavement.


It's like that line from Collateral. "What? No. I didn't kill him. The bullets and the fall did."

It's obvious if you watch the video: "his own body killed him"


Appearances can deceive, which is why we do autopsies in the first place.


according to the police department. yes.

even though this man tragically got murdered in front of a camera.

Still, i think it is very important that autopsy happens regardless of its obviousness.


A previous autopsy said it was his heart that failed.


Yes, there was a report by the authorities claiming that there were no signs of asphyxiation and that it was linked to a heart condition or drugs (unspecified drugs, to make the racism obvious).


Why is this flagged?


From https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html:

Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

Also, I suspect the non-US HN users are slowly getting fed up with this one topic capturing a large part of the online conversation.


> Also, I suspect the non-US HN users are slowly getting fed up with this one topic capturing a large part of the online conversation.

Hmmm no I can't imagine that, could you describe your view more? Why would they be fed up, in your view?


> Hmmm no I can't imagine that

Holy motherflipping cow the amount of Selbstgefälligkeit is insane. How about you guys _actually use_ your second amendment for once if you're so upset with the police.

Get your shit together. Get it all together. And put it in a backpack. All your shit. So it’s together.

And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere, you know, take it to the shit store and sell it… Or put it in a shit museum, I don’t care what you do, you just gotta get it together. Get your shit together!


so which one is right? is a third autopsy planned?


Can someone comment on what the official police report said and how it differs from the private report? If you can provide references that will help too. My search abilities failed me to get a succinct answer.


There are several comments here that explains the difference. Summarized, previous autopsy blamed pre-existing heart condition for the death. While this new independent autopsy determined it to be asphyxiation.





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