Autopsy report says George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19

Drummers beat in front of a picture of George Floyd on 18th Street by Delores Park in San Francisco on Wednesday. Thousands participated as demonstrations are held coast to coast in support of Black Lives Matter and victims of lethal police practices. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

June 4 (UPI) — The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday released the full autopsy report for George Floyd, showing he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was likely asymptomatic when he died last week while being detained by police in Minnesota.

In the 20-page report, the medical examiner said that Floyd had tested positive for the deadly and infectious coronavirus on April 3, and a postmortem nasal swab collected the day after his day on May 26 proved positive for the virus, though he was most probably asymptomatic from the earlier infection.

“Since PCR positivity for 2019-nCoV RNA can persist for weeks after the onset of clinical disease, the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection,” the report read, referring to the novel coronavirus by an abbreviation.

The release of the report nine days after Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while being detained by a white police officer, was with the consent of the victim’s family and legal representatives, the medical examiner’s office said in a statement.

The reported listed Floyd’s death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”

The Floyd family also ordered an independent autopsy that was released Monday by their lawyers, which ruled Floyd’s death as “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”

Both ruled the death was a homicide, however.

The county medical examiner’s report on Monday also stated he suffered from arteriosclerotic heart disease, which is the thickening and hardening of coronary artery walls, and hypertension as well as fentanyl intoxication and had recently used methamphetamine.

The release of the autopsy report follows Minnesota authorities escalating the murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and imposing aiding and abetting murder in the second-degree charges against former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas land and Tou Thano who were involved in the police interaction on May 25 that resulted in Floyd’s death.

In video of the police interaction, Chauvin is seen kneeing Floyd in the neck for more than 8 minutes as the suspect lays prostrate and handcuffed on the ground until losing consciousness.

The officers arrested Floyd outside a convenience store after a clerk reported he had used a counterfeit $20 bill.

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