George Floyd, whose fatal encounter with Minneapolis police stirred a global outcry over racial bias by US law enforcement, tested positive for the coronavirus, his autopsy showed, but the infection was not listed as a factor in his death.
The official cause of death, according to the full 20-page report made public on Wednesday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, was cardiopulmonary arrest while Floyd was being restrained by police taking him into custody on May 25.
The coroner ruled the manner of death to be a homicide.
Four police officers since fired from their jobs for their role in the incident, which was captured on a bystander’s cellphone video, are being held on criminal charges, one of them accused of murder.
The video showed that officer using his knee to press Floyd’s neck into the street for nearly nine minutes while the 46-year-old victim gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, “please, I can’t breathe.”
Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
The video immediately went viral on the internet, igniting nine days of nationwide protest and civil strife. Demonstrators have also taken to the streets overseas, from Germany to New Zealand.